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High court won't hear J&J challenge to $2.1B talc verdict

  • Legal Development 01 June 2021 01 June 2021
  • Americas

New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson’s petition to overturn a $2.1 billion verdict was dismissed by the US Supreme Court in June 2020.

New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson’s petition to overturn a $2.1 billion verdict was dismissed by the US Supreme Court in early June. The original verdict handed down by a Missouri state appellate court, was awarded to two dozen women who alleged the asbestos in its talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer. Johnson and Johnson argued that, by combining the 22 claims, their due process rights were violated, and that the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction over plaintiffs who neither lived in Missouri nor purchased or used the products there.

Johnson and Johnson appealed the decision to the Missouri Supreme Court, but they declined to review the matter, along with the denying a petition for a writ of certiorari to challenge the state’s appellate decision last year that kept intact about $2.1 billion of the roughly $4.7 billion original landmark verdict. The Supreme Court's decision comes nearly three years after jurors awarded a combined $550 million and $4.14 billion in compensatory and punitive damages, respectively, against J&J and its subsidiary Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. over claims their talcum powder products contained asbestos and caused the women to develop ovarian cancer.

The original verdict was reduced by a Missouri appeals court by removing the awards for two out-of-state plaintiffs on jurisdictional grounds because they only used a product manufactured in Georgia. The court found jurisdiction over JJCI with respect to the other 15 non-Missouri plaintiffs, as Johnson and Johnson had contracted with a Missouri-based business to manufacture a product they allegedly used.

To read the full article, please click here.

To read the PDF of the Order List, please click here.

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