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Johnson and Johnson baby powder

The first California verdict in the talcum powder litigation just came out—and it’s massive.

A jury in Los Angeles awarded $417 million to a California woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, according to Courtroom View Network through which ALM was monitoring the proceedings. Jurors found 9-3 that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn that its baby powder could cause the deadly disease.

After more than two days of deliberations, the jury came back with a verdict just minutes before today’s solar eclipse hit Los Angeles. Jurors awarded Eva Echeverria $70 million in noneconomic damages and $347 million in punitive damages.

Johnson & Johnson was represented by Bart Williams and Manuel Cachán, both Los Angeles partners at Proskauer Rose, the same lawyers who got the single defense verdict in March in Missouri. Spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement: “We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s baby powder. 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 U.S. and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s baby powder.”

This story is developing.

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