J&J Appeal Of $2bn Talcum Powder Judgment Denied By US Supreme Court
The Supreme Court said on 1 June that it would not review a $2bn verdict in Missouri for 22 women who alleged links between ovarian cancer and asbestos-tainted talc in Johnson’s Baby Powder. J&J believes the US' top court passed on an "extraordinary opportunity" that "leaves unresolved significant legal questions that state and federal courts will continue to face."
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J&J’s appeal of largest verdict yet in complaints challenging safety of talc in its Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Shimmer products failed, but a Missouri court cut its damages by more than half. Missouri appellate panel says the firm should pay $500m compensatory and $1.62bn punitive damages.
Legal experts note that J&J’s decision to end Johnson’s Baby Powder sales in the US and Canada closely followed a New Jersey federal court decision that largely denied the firm’s motions to bar testimony from plaintiff experts in multi-district talc litigation comprising around 16,000 cases.
Counsel for 22 women who blame J&J talcum powders for their ovarian cancer took a new approach in this latest case in St. Louis Circuit Court, arguing that asbestos in the firm’s talc is the culprit, rather than talc itself. J&J is confident in its ability to overturn the verdict, which it characterized as biased and unfounded.