On Friday a California judge overturned a $417 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson from a lawsuit by a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using its talcum powder for feminine hygiene.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson asserted that there was jury misconduct and errors in the first trial and agreed to the company’s request for a new trial.
This decision follows a jury’s decision in August to award California resident Eva Echeverria $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages.
“We are pleased with Judge Maren Nelson’s 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,” said Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson Consumer, “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 U.S.”
Mark Robinson Jr., one of Echeverria’s lawyers, said they will file an appeal immediately. “We disagree with the court’s decision,” he said. “A jury of Ms. Echeverria’s peers found the Johnson and Johnson defendants liable. We will ask the appellate court to uphold this jury’s verdict. We will continue to fight on behalf of all women who have been impacted by this dangerous product.”
At least 4,800 similar cases are pending against the company in courtrooms across the country. Echeverria’s was the first to be brought to trial in California, but several are pending in the state.
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