(AP) — The United States Supreme Court
has upheld a $2 billion verdict in favor of women
who claim they developed ovarian cancer
after using Johnson & Johnson talc
The Supreme Court declined to comment on Johnson & Johnson's appeal, which claimed that the company was not treated fairly in facing a single trial
involving 22 cancer patients from 12 different states and backgrounds.
jury awarded the women $4.7 billion, but a state appeals court dismissed two women from the suit and reduced the award to $2 billion. The jury determined that the company's talc products contain asbestos and that asbestos-laced talc can cause ovarian cancer, both of which the company denies.
Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh did not participate in the court's decision. Alito owns between $15,000 and $50,000 in Johnson & Johnson stock, and Kavanaugh's father led the trade association that lobbied against labeling talc as a carcinogen and including a warning label on talc products.
According to ethicists contacted by The Associated Press
, E. Edward Kavanaugh's role does not necessitate his son's withdrawal from the case.
Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey
, has discontinued sales of its iconic talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder
in the United States and Canada
, though it is still available in other countries.