Judge Overturns Talcum Powder Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson
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Last week, a judge tossed out a $417 million talcum powder verdict against Johnson & Johnson. Two months ago, a California jury originally ruled in favor of Eva Echevarria, who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using J&J’s baby powder for feminine hygiene purposes. 

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson has tossed out the talcum powder verdict and approved a new trial. The judge believes errors and jury misconduct occurred during the original trial. He also stated that the damages were excessive, as there was no evidence that J&J acted with malice.

Echevarria has since passed away, but her attorney Mark Robinson Jr. says they still plan to appeal the decision. Echevarria’s lawsuit claimed J&J failed to warn customers about the risks of using talcum powder. She used the product daily beginning in the 1950s and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007.

What Qualifies as Jury Misconduct?

In high-stakes trials, after a verdict, investigators interview jurors to discover what happened in the jury room. If a juror says the award was reached by averaging numbers, or discloses that someone did separate research—both clear violations of jury instructions—that misconduct would lead to an unfair result.

Why Did the Judge Rule the Damages Excessive?

Malice is defined as acting with intent to cause injury, or acting in a despicable way with a willful and knowing disregard of the rights or safety of another. Our law defines despicable conduct as conduct which is so vile or contemptible that it would be looked down on and despised by reasonable people. To warrant the award of punitive damages, there must be some very serious misconduct, which meets the definition of malice. Judge Nelson found that there was inadequate evidence of malice to warrant such a large award.

“Given the trial judge’s opinion, it seems unlikely that an appellate court would reverse. Most likely, there will have to be another trial,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured by a defective product and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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