Johnson & Johnson deserves a new trial after a jury ordered the world’s largest maker of health-care products to pay $417 million to a woman who blamed the company’s iconic Baby Powder for causing her cancer, an appeals court concluded.
While there was sufficient evidence to uphold the jury’s finding that J&J improperly failed to warn Eva Echeverria about the health risks of talc-based powder, conflicting evidence about the product’s cancer links warrants another trial, the Los Angeles-based court said Tuesday.
The ruling is good news for J&J, which suffered a string of recent defeats in lawsuits alleging the company knew its talc-based products could cause various types of cancers and put profits over people’s health.
Last month, a California jury ordered J&J and Colgate-Palmolive Co. to pay about $10 million to a dying woman who said asbestos in their talc products caused her cancer. In May, a New York jury ordered J&J to pay $325 million to another woman who blamed her asbestos-related cancer on baby powder use.
By Jef Feeley and Edvard Pettersson