However, this "type of talc is not used in modern consumer products", writes ACS, like talcum and baby powder. 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. "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 from using Johnson & Johnson for 20 and 30 years", her lawyer Mark Robinson told the Associated Press.
Mrs. Echeverria developed ovarian cancer as a "proximate result of the unreasonably risky and defective nature of talcum powder", she said in her lawsuit. The $417-million verdict on Monday is the third-largest jury award in the United States so far in 2017.
After two days of deliberation, the jury awarded Echeverria $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages. "In April, the National Cancer Institute's Physician Data Query Editorial Board wrote, 'The weight of evidence does not support an association between perineal talc exposure and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.' We are preparing for additional trials in the USA and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder". She claimed that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder.
The study went on to say, "In 2006, a meta-analysis of 21 studies reported an approximately 35 percent increase in risk with genital exposure to talc and an earlier meta-analysis had similar findings".
The case is Echeverria et al v. Johnson & Johnson, Los Angeles Superior Court, No. BC628228.
More than 1,000 other people have filed similar lawsuits.
But there are many studies conducted that have shown correlation of talc to causing ovarian cancer, although most of the studies are not consistent. 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. The evidence in the case included internal documents from several decades that "showed the jury that Johnson & Johnson knew about the risks of talc and ovarian cancer", Mr. Robinson said.
In its natural form, some talc contains asbestos, although all talcum products for personal use in the United States have been asbestos-free since the 1970s. And a spokesman for the firm defended its product, the name of that spokesman is Carol Goodrich and he said: "We will appeal today's verdict because we are guided by the science".