The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to take an appeal from the American pharmaceutical group Johnson & Johnson, effectively confirming its order to pay $ 2.1 billion in damages and interest for the sale of cancer-causing talc.
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The Supreme Court of America, in practice, did not uphold its decision, which put an end to years of activity and had an impact on other class actions or “class actions.”
The hygiene products company has faced thousands of complaints in recent years alleging that its talcum powder contains asbestos and is the cause of ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson has always stated that baby powder does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer.
She was convicted on several occasions, most notably in 2018 when the jury consolidated several cases and ordered 22 plaintiffs to pay $ 7.7 billion in damages.
In June 2020, the Missouri Court of Appeals reduced the amount, arguing that some plaintiffs, who had no ties to the state, should not be included in the lawsuit.
But she estimated that the group “knowingly sold consumer products containing asbestos”, causing strong “physical, mental and psychological distress”.
Johnson & Johnson appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court, which refused to accept it, and later appealed to the nation’s Supreme Court, so it did the same on Tuesday.
The panel argued that the class action, including the plaintiff from other states, violated its rights, and that the amount considered was punishable.
The company said Tuesday that the court ruling “leaves important legal questions facing state and federal courts” on procedural and jurisdiction issues.
Johnson & Johnson insisted that it was “not related to product safety”.
Two Supreme Court justices withdrew themselves. According to the American Press, Samuel Alito owns shares in the group and Brett Kavanagh’s father worked as a lobbyist for the company.
Continuing his innocence, Johnson & Johnson announced in May 2020 that it would stop selling this talk-based powder in the United States and Canada, citing declining sales habits and distrust of production.