Johnson & Johnson has won its appeal of a record $417 million verdict in a lawsuit brought by a California woman who claimed she got ovarian cancer from using the company’s talcum powder.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson cited errors and jury misconduct when she overturned the fourth-largest jury award of the year, according to Bloomberg News and The Associated Press.
The ruling comes after a Missouri appeals court on Tuesday voided a $72 million talc cancer verdict, adding momentum to Johnson & Johnson’s defense against thousands of similar lawsuits, Bloomberg reported.
Nelson also ruled there wasn't convincing evidence that Johnson & Johnson acted with malice and the award for damages was excessive.
Plaintiff Eva Echeverria alleged Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about talcum powder's potential cancer risks. She used the company's baby powder for feminine hygiene on a daily basis beginning in the 1950s until 2016 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, according to court papers.
She died after the jury announced its verdict in August.
Her attorney, Mark Robinson Jr., vowed an immediate appeal, according to Bloomberg.
"We will continue to fight on behalf of all women who have been impacted by this dangerous product," he said.
The company said it was pleased with the ruling, The AP reported.
"Ovarian cancer is a devastating disease — but it is not caused by the cosmetic-grade talc we have used in Johnson's Baby Powder for decades. The science is clear and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder as we prepare for additional trials in the U.S.," spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said, according to The AP.
The sum awarded to Echeverria was the largest ever against Johnson & Johnson in a talcum powder case.
The appeals court in Missouri cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that placed limits on where injury lawsuits could be filed, saying state courts cannot hear claims against companies not based in the state where alleged injuries occurred, The AP reported.