A Missouri Supreme Court has rejected Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) appeal against the $2.12 billion talc verdict. The company had been asked to pay women who claimed that asbestos in its baby powder and talc products had caused ovarian cancer in them.
Supreme Court upholds June verdict
The Supreme Court upheld the June 23, 2020 decision by the state appeals court that had upheld the July 2018 jury’s finding of JNJ’s liability. However, the appeal’s court had reduced the penalty from $4.69 billion after claims by some 22 plaintiffs were dismissed. The company has indicated that it is planning to appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court decision.
In a statement, the company said that the decision was a product of a fundamentally flawed trial grounded on defective presentation of facts. Further, the company said that the suit was at odds with years of independent evaluations that confirmed that its Baby Powder was safe and dint contain asbestos or any of cancer-causing compounds. The New Brunswick-based pharmaceutical company said it will set aside around $2.1 billion for the verdict, which will be reflected in the company’s financial results at the end of the year.
Johnson & Johnson faces 21,800 lawsuits
The plaintiffs’ attorney, Kevin Parker, stated that the company ought to accept the jury’s findings and the appellate court’s decision. Parker said that the company should move to compensate the victims adequately.
After being hit with a series of litigations, the company said that it will cease selling the Baby Powder talc in the US and Canada in May this year. Last month Johnson & Johnson said that it is facing over 21,800 lawsuits, claiming that its talc products contain cancer-causing asbestos called carcinogens.
In June, the Missouri Court of Appeal decisions indicated that it was okay to refer to previous evidence that the company disregarded consumers’ safety in its driver for profit. This is despite knowing that its talc products contained cancer-causing carcinogens.