On Aug. 21, a Los Angeles, California, jury awarded plaintiff Eva Echeverria $417 million, finding Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products responsible for her ovarian cancer. This was the first of hundreds of similar cases filed in California to go to trial.
After a four-week trial and more than two days of deliberations, the jury held Johnson & Johnson liable for failing to warn of a link between its talcum powder products and ovarian cancer. This was the largest verdict against J&J in the talc litigation, and the first delivered outside of Missouri.
The first ovarian cancer talc trial in California involved the claims of Eva Echeverria, a lifelong resident of Los Angeles who began daily use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products when she was 11 years old. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, she has undergone several surgeries and numerous chemotherapy treatments since that time.
“This verdict sends a message that the public is tired of corporations placing their profits over our health and trust.” — Allen Smith, attorney for the plaintiff
The jury verdict included $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages. The breakdown of the verdict was as follows:
- Johnson & Johnson – $68 million compensatory damages
- Johnson & Johnson – $340 million punitive damages
- Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. – $2 million compensatory damages
- Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. – $7 million punitive damages
- Total Punitive Damages – $347 million
- Total Compensatory Damages – $70 million
The closely watched trial began on July 26, and is part of the consolidated Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cases, case number JCCP4872, in the Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County. Echeverria is represented by Mark P. Robinson Jr., Kevin F. Calcagnie, Scot Wilson and Cynthia Garber of Robinson Calcagnie Inc.; Allen Smith of The Smith Law Firm; Ted Meadows, David Dearing and Ryan Beattie of Beasley Allen Law Firm; Helen Zukin from Kiesel Law Firm; and Michelle A. Parfitt of Ashcraft & Gerel LLP.