Product Liability

Supreme Court refuses to hear J&J’s challenge to $2.1 billion talcum powder verdict

June 15, 2021

The Supreme Court announced earlier this month that it has denied to hear a petition by Johnson & Johnson to challenge a Missouri state landmark $2.1 billion verdict related to the company’s talcum powder products. The court’s order provided no explanation, only stating that Justices Samuel Alito Jr. and Brett Kavanaugh did not take part in consideration of the petition (1). The announcement comes nearly seven months after the Missouri Supreme Court also declined to review the case.  

What’s this about?

In 2018, a St. Louis jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages to a group of 22 women over claims that asbestos in the company’s talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer. The verdict was later reduced by the Missouri Court of Appeals to $2.1 billion. Johnson & Johnson then appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court, who refused to take up the case back in November 2020.  

Beyond this verdict, Johnson & Johnson still faces a mountain of talc-related litigation. The company said in a regulatory filing in September 2020 that there are over 21,000 product liability cases still pending related to its talc products. J&J’s talc litigation and settlement expenses were also listed at $1.2 billion in the first three quarters of fiscal 2020 – up nearly $1 billion from the $200 million in litigation expenses incurred in the first three quarters of 2019 (2). The majority of the cases still pending have been consolidated in a federal MDL in New Jersey.  

The company further disclosed in a report field with the SEC earlier this year that it has set aside an additional $3.9 billion for the litigation.  

We're here to help

If you or a loved one used talcum powder and has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, we’re here to help. We invite you to join the community of women (and their families) who are holding Johnson & Johnson accountable by asserting your claim. We’d be honored to speak with you.  

Click HERE for a free and no-obligation review of your case. You may be entitled to substantial damages without ever going to court. If you do not receive a recovery through a lawsuit or settlement, you don’t owe us anything.  

References

  1. https://www.law360.com/articles/1389717/high-court-won-t-hear-j-j-challenge-to-2-1b-talc-verdict
  2. https://www.law360.com/articles/1325446/online-talc-jury-trial-against-j-j-ends-in-mistrial

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