Supreme Court rejects Johnson & Johnson appeal of US$2B talc verdict
CPG says it was treated unfairly in one trial involving women who claim they developed ovarian cancer from the talc products
The Associated Press
The Supreme Court is leaving in place a US$2 billion verdict in favour of women who claim they developed ovarian cancer from using Johnson & Johnson talc products.
The justices did not comment Tuesday in rejecting Johnson & Johnson's appeal. The company argued it was not treated fairly in facing one trial involving 22 cancer sufferers who came from 12 states and different backgrounds.
A Missouri jury initially awarded the women $4.7 billion, but a state appeals court dropped two women from the suit and reduced the award to $2 billion. The jury found the company's talc products contained asbestos and asbestos-laced talc can cause ovarian cancer. The company disputes both points.
Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh took no part in the court's action. Alito owns $15,000 to $50,000 in Johnson & Johnson stock. Kavanaugh's father headed the trade association that lobbied against labeling talc a carcinogen and including a warning label on talc products.
Ethicists contacted by The Associated Press said they did not think E. Edward Kavanaugh's role required his son to step aside from the case.
Johnson & Johnson, which is based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, has stopped selling its iconic talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder in the U.S. and Canada, though it remains on the market elsewhere.