Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Johnson & Johnson Appeal on Baby Powder Judgment

by ian

Ian Patrick, FISM News


The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal from Johnson & Johnson, leaving in place a decision from the Missouri Supreme Court on the matter.

The 2018 case involved 22 women who sued the pharmaceutical company over their baby powder and talc products. These women claimed that these products gave them ovarian cancer, and the lawsuit cited asbestos in the talc as the cause. A report from Reuters in that same year suggested that J&J knew about the presence of the carcinogen in their products, but the company denies that any trace amount of asbestos in their talc products have been linked to cancer.

A Missouri court ruled in favor of the women, 17 of whom were out-of-state but consolidated in the case. The initial ruling awarded $4.69 billion worth in damages to the 22 women, which J&J appealed to a Missouri appeals court. This appeals upheld the ruling in their decision last year, but decreased the amount of damages to $2.12 billion and removed two women from the suit.

J&J appealed again to the Missouri Supreme Court which upheld the appeals court decision in November of 2020. This prompted them to push the case to the SCOTUS.

The company decided in May of last year that they would stop selling its baby powder talc because of changes in consumer habits and “misinformation” about their products. They will also be making a payment this month totaling $2.5 billion , due to accrued interest. They will also now be moving to handle thousands of other lawsuits of a similar nature.