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Johnson & Johnson Gets Record-Setting $417 Million Talc Verdict Tossed

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Update

October 26, 2017
A judge in California has thrown out the $417 million jury award that had been granted to the plaintiff in a landmark talcum powder trial against Johnson & Johnson, finding that plaintiff Eva Echeverria relied on speculative expert testimony.

The judge ruled that Echeverria, who died soon after the trial ended in August in Los Angeles, failed to definitively link her terminal ovarian cancer to the talc in the Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products that she had used for decades for feminine hygiene. The judge also ruled that the punitive damages granted by the trial’s jury had not been warranted, as no malice was intended.

The testimony of witness Dr. Annie Yessaian was singled out as using “extremely limited,” speculative evidence in arguing for the plaintiff.

In a separate ruling, the judge granted Johnson & Johnson’s motion for a new trial. The effect of these twin rulings is that, even if the judge’s first decision is overturned by an appellate court, plaintiffs’ attorneys would likely have a difficult time reinstating the full $417 million verdict, and may instead have to retry the entire case.

The trial was the first to be heard in a group of six cases in a complex Multi-District Litigation (MDL) case against Johnson & Johnson, which plaintiffs accuse of knowingly making and marketing a carcinogenic product, and of failing to adequately warn consumers of the serious health risks of talcum powder products.

In the original trial, Echeverria was awarded $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 in punitive damages.

The recent ruling stands to complicate the already complex MDL case against Johnson & Johnson, which is ongoing in several states.

If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and you believe your cancer was caused by habitual use of improperly labeled talcum powder products, you may very well have a case – despite this recent ruling. This trial is ongoing and most cases have yet to be heard. Contact the expert attorneys at to learn how we can help you with your talcum powder case.

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