J&J wins reversal of $417m talc fine


baby-powder J&J

A US judge has thrown out $US417m ($A533 million) award to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer by using J&J talc-based baby powder

The announcement follows the company’s request for a new trial, saying there were errors and jury misconduct in the previous trial that ended with the award two months ago, media reports.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson also ruled that there wasn’t convincing evidence that J&J acted with malice and the award for damages was excessive.

The decision will be appealed even though Eva Echeverria has died, said her attorney, Mark Robinson Jr.

“We will continue to fight on behalf of all women who have been impacted by this dangerous product,” he said in a statement.

Echeverria alleged Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about talcum powder’s potential cancer risks.

She used the company’s baby powder on a daily basis beginning in the 1950s until 2016 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, according to court papers.

Echeverria developed ovarian cancer as a “proximate result of the unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder”, she said in her lawsuit.

Her attorney contended that documents showed that J&J new about the risks of talc and ovarian cancer for three decades.

However, the company said it was pleased with the ruling.

“Ovarian cancer is a devastating disease – but it is not caused by the cosmetic-grade talc we have used in Johnson’s Baby Powder for decades. The science is clear and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder as we prepare for additional trials in the US,” spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement.

Similar allegations have led to hundreds of lawsuits against the New Jersey-based company. Jury awards have totalled hundreds of millions of dollars.

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