Johnson & Johnson has faced thousands of lawsuits over the potentially harmful effects of their products, specifically the baby powder. One woman who was a victim just received the highest amount of compensation that a pharmaceutical and hygiene company has ever paid — $417 million.
Eva Echeverria, the 63-year-old victim, used Johnson & Johnson baby powder in her hygiene routine for over 50 years. When she developed ovarian cancer, she never would have guessed the cause would be something as innocent and common as baby powder. She even used the powder during her cancer treatment period, which started in 2007, according to HuffPost.
The jury for the case agreed with Echeverria's claim, saying that there was a link between cancer and the Johnson & Johnson baby powder containing talc. The company didn't put a warning on the label or anything, so they're taking responsibility for not sharing that information with their consumers.
Echeverria ultimately won the legal battle, and will be given $417 million in compensation and damages. This isn't the first time, however, that Johnson & Johnson has been under fire for lawsuits. According to Cosmopolitan, last May a Virginia woman was awarded $110.5 million who was also diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Even though Echeverria is fighting this horrible cancer, all she wanted to do was help people in her similar situation. Her lawyer stated, "Mrs. Echeverria is dying from this ovarian cancer, and she said to me all she wanted to do was to help the other women throughout the whole country who have ovarian cancer for using Johnson & Johnson for 20 and 30 years."
Her lawyer also added, "She really didn't want sympathy. She just wanted to get a message out to help these other women."
The company is facing almost 5,000 lawsuits similar to Echeverria's, making it seem like they have some serious credibility problems. However, there is little to no scientific evidence linking talc to ovarian cancer. The American Cancer Society says that "For any individual woman, if there is an increased risk, the overall increase is likely to be very small."
The company said they would appeal the ruling, even though they sympathize with the women affected. This is because there is no scientific evidence linking cancer to talcum. However, Echeverria eventually won the legal battle and Johnson & Johnson had to pay the money owed.