Anyone who has had any contact with the United States’ court system can tell you how overloaded and rushed it is. Criminal and civil trials will often have to be scheduled for months after the hearing. While some could argue there are too many frivolous lawsuits clogging our courts, there are certainly plenty of lawsuits that are justified.
A woman dying of ovarian cancer recently won over $400 million in damages against the Johnson & Johnson corporation.
Eva Echeverria was awarded the largest amount yet in her suit against the health and beauty giant. The Los Angeles native brought the lawsuit after discovering other lawsuits connecting Johnson’s Baby Powder to ovarian cancer. Her case was based on a 1971 study, which established talc, a principal component of Johnson’s Baby Powder, was found in cancerous tumors.
Mrs. Echeverria, like many women, used baby powder as a part of her feminine hygiene routine. She started using it as part of her daily routine when she was just 11 years old. Her diagnosis in 2007 came just one year after the International Agency for Research on Cancer published a study that found talcum to be carcinogenic when used on or near genitals. Obviously, Mrs. Echeverria was unaware of these findings.
Numerous other cases against Johnson & Johnson have been decided all across the United States. While some courts have found the company not liable, most juries have ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars in some of these cases.
Naturally, the company appealed to higher courts to overturn or reduce the damages. Their reasoning is based on numerous studies, such as one from the National Cancer Institute, which show there is no conclusive evidence that links talc to ovarian cancer.