Thousands of malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer victims have accused Johnson & Johnson of knowingly exposing them to asbestos in their talc-based baby powder product. In addition to personal injury lawsuits, litigation has been filed against the consumer giant by Mississippi’s state consumer agency for not having placed a warning label on the product. When the Mississippi Supreme Court agreed that the state’s claim was valid, the company sought relief from the Supreme Court, but the highest court in the land refused to hear the company’s challenge. This is the second time that the U.S. Supreme Court has spurned the company’s pleadings over talc-based claims.
Johnson & Johnson Rejected by Supreme Court Twice Over Asbestos Claims
In the face of thousands of mesothelioma and ovarian cancer lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson has pulled its baby powder product off of the market in the United States and Canada and has pursued a controversial legal strategy to seek bankruptcy protection. It has already been ordered to pay billions of dollars in damages to plaintiffs who blame asbestos in the product of causing their illnesses, and who accuse the company of knowing of their product’s dangers.
In an attempt to protect its assets from mesothelioma and ovarian cancer victims, the company had appealed a Missouri jury’s $2.1 billion talc ovarian cancer jury verdict to the Supreme Court, only to have the court decline to hear the case and allow the verdict to stand. Now the court has again refused to hear their challenge, this time over state consumer protection laws.
Mississippi Seeks Compensation for Failure to Warn of Mesothelioma Dangers
The second case rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court saw the Mississippi state attorney general file suit against Johnson & Johnson, seeking an injunction to force them to place a label warning of the dangers of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma and to impose a retroactive penalty of as much as $10,000 for each bottle of the product sold in the state over the last five decades. The Mississippi Supreme Court agreed that the label was required by state law, despite the FDA’s decision that labeling was not required.
In response, the company sought relief from the U.S. Supreme Court for the decision, arguing that “if the Mississippi Supreme Court’s ruling stands, other state officials will join the fray, seeking their own paydays.” They warned that “manufacturers will face the threat of huge retroactive penalties for failing to include labels the FDA rejected as scientifically unsound and will be forced to defend their labels before juries who will second-guess the FDA’s expert judgment.”
It is unknown how many people have been stricken with malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer from using asbestos-contaminated talc products. If you or someone you love has been affected and you need information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.