Jury awards $417M to woman who says she got cancer from talc in baby powder

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Enlarge / Bottles of Johnson’s baby powder in a London supermarket. (credit: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A Los Angeles jury awarded a woman a $417 million verdict yesterday. The jury found that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn users of the cancer risks of the talc in its baby powder.

The jury’s 9-3 vote to hold J&J liable for not warning Eva Echeverria about cancer risks is a huge blow to the company, which is facing thousands of such claims across the country. The verdict consists of $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages, according to Reuters.

No clear link connects talcum powder to ovarian cancer. Some case-control studies, based on asking women who have ovarian cancer about their history, have found a slightly increased risk. But as the American Cancer Society notes, those kinds of studies can be biased because they rely on a person’s memory of talc use years after the fact.

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Source: arstechnica.com

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