Pharmaceutical

Woman fights to reinstate $417 million jury award in talc case

talc justice Woman fights to reinstate $417 million jury award in talc caseElisha Echeverria, overseeing the estate of her deceased mother Eva Echeverria, who won a $417 million jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson in August over claims that its talcum powder products caused ovarian cancer, appealed to a California judge to rethink his decision to toss the award arguing that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s findings.

Eva Echeverria and six other women filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in Los Angeles Superior Court in July 2016, arguing that regular genital use of J&J talcum powders, like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, for feminine hygiene were the cause of their ovarian cancer. Eva Echeverria’s case was the first to go to trial among hundreds in a complex litigation in California.

The jury sided with Eva Echeverria, awarding her $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages, eclipsing previous eight- and nine-figure verdicts in similar cases tried in St. Louis. Eva Echeverria died shortly thereafter.

In October, following Eva Echeverria’s death, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that she failed to connect J&J’s actions with its subsidiary Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., which marketed the talc products for the past 50 years. The judge also granted a new trial, finding the award was “plainly excessive.”

Elisha, the acting trustee of her mother’s estate, argued that both rulings must be overturned because the court found there was sufficient evidence to go to the jury for failure to warn, and only after the verdict did the court reach the opposite conclusion.

Source: Law360