Since a California jury awarded a $417 million verdict to plaintiff Eva Echeverria in August, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has attempted to escape accountability on a variety of fronts. J&J argues that the verdict is too large and that the parent company should not be held responsible, among other evasive complaints.
Attorney Michael J. Miller of The Miller Firm states, “Unfortunately, this move is yet another example of Johnson & Johnson refusing to accept responsibility for its reckless failure to warn women about the dangers of Talcum Powder.”
Echeverria was a lifelong user of J&J’s talcum powder products for feminine hygiene. Using products such as J&J’s baby powder and Shower to Shower Absorbent Body Powder® for personal genital hygiene has been linked to the cultivation of ovarian cancer. Longtime J&J customers who are cancer victims and their survivors are filing suit.
Echeverria was granted an expedited trial date due to her advancing and terminal cancer and she passed away after the trial. The $417 million awarded in this case exceeds the sum of all previous talc awards in St. Louis trials, which total $307 million.
J&J argues that jurors should not have been allowed to consider Echeverria’s cancer as a product of multiple causes, with talc exposure being the most substantial. One example of a striking piece of evidence the jurors considered was a company memo from the 60s describing dry-flow as a safe condom lubricant in contrast to talc, which was described as not safe for vaginal absorption. This is just one of many internal documents and studies that have come to light proving J&J, the world’s largest health care company, knew about and hid the dangers of their talc-based product-line.
J&J also calls the juror deliberation process into question, wherein jurors offer varying accounts about how the damages decision-making was carried out. “Defendants did not lose because of something the jury did, the court did or plaintiff’s counsel did. They lost because the evidence showed what they did,” said Echeverria’s Attorney Mark Robinson, according to Bloomberg.com.
The panel awarded compensatory and punitive damages against the consumer products unit and parent company. J&J wants the punitive damages voided, denying having carried out any malicious or “vile” conduct. It wants the parent company absolved of any culpability because it is a separate legal entity from the unit that sells baby powder. In response, Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson asked J&J’s legal team to further discuss documents presented by the plaintiffs as evidence the company was aware of the talc-related health risks.
The Miller Firm is presently accepting clients who developed Ovarian Cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s Talcum Powder. If this has happened to you, please visit our Talcum Powder Lawsuit page to request a free consultation. Or, you also can call the Miller Firm at 1-800-882-2525.