Washington Aug 22: A shocking judgment was pronounced yesterday.
A court has ordered the medical, pharmaceutical and consumer giants, Johnson and Johnson, to pay $417m (£324m) after a link between its talcum powder product and ovarian cancer was discovered.
Sources say that the fine is the largest sum awarded in a series of verdicts against the company in the US.The case was brought forward by Eva Echeverria from Los Angeles, who alleged that Johnson and Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about talcum powder's potential cancer risks.
She has said that "her 60-year use of the product led to her developing ovarian cancer which was diagnosed in 2007."Cancer developed as a 'proximate result of the unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder' - as stated in her lawsuit.She now hopes that the company will put additional warnings on its products.
Her attorney, Mark Robinson, said: "Mrs. Echeverria is dying from this ovarian cancer and she said to me all she wanted to do was to help other women throughout the whole country who have ovarian cancer for using Johnson and Johnson for 20 and 30 years."She really didn't want sympathy. She just wanted to get a message out to help these other women."
The jury's award included $68m (£53m) in compensatory damages and $340m (£265m) in punitive damages after seeing internal documents that, according to Robinson, 'showed the jury that Johnson and Johnson knew about the risks of talc and ovarian cancer.
He added: "Company had many warning bells over a 30-year period but failed to warn the women who were buying its product."
A spokeswoman for the company, Carol Goodrich, said that Johnson and Johnson would appeal the decision but does sympathize with the woman suffering from ovarian cancer as a result of Johnson's baby powder.
Let's hope that many companies take a lesson from the judgment so that such mistakes don't repeat again.
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