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Johnson & Johnson pay American woman £323m over ovarian cancer case (29 August 2017)

Date: 29/08/2017
Duncan Lewis, Personal Injury Solicitors, Johnson & Johnson pay American woman £323m over ovarian cancer case

Johnson & Johnson, the American multinational pharmaceutical company, faces a pay out of over £323m to a woman who claims their products caused her to develop ovarian cancer.

There have been concerns for several years that the use of talcum powder, especially on the genitals, could increase the risk of ovarian cancer, but thus far the evidence around any link between talc use and cancer is inconclusive.

However, despite this inconclusive evidence, and the company claiming that science “supports the safety” of their products, Johnson & Johnson has lost four of five lawsuits in Missouri, leading to over $300m in penalties. More recently, a California lawsuit was brought by 63-year old Eva Echeverria, who started using baby powder aged 11 and was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer 10 years ago. The lawsuit alleged that the company was aware of the cancer risks associated with talcum powder, but concealed this information from the public, and encouraged women to use the products anyway. The verdict included $70m in compensatory damages and $347m in punitive damages, totalling $417m (£323.4).

The company, which is headquartered in New Jersey, faces around 4,800 similar claims from women who say that use of the firm’s products to address concerns about vaginal odour and moisture have led to them developing cancer.

Eva Echeverria’s attorney, Mark Robinson, said that his client, who is currently hospitalized and undergoing treatment, hoped that the verdict would lead to Johnson & Johnson putting additional warnings on their products. He said that Echeverria’s main aim was “to get a message out to help these other women.”

This follows reports last month that Johnson & Johnson were accused of downplaying the risks of their vaginal mesh implant, with 700 Australian women taking the company to court claiming that the mesh implants ruined their lives.

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