The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear Johnson & Johnson’s bid to overturn a $2.12 billion damages award to women who blamed their ovarian cancer on asbestos in the company’s baby powder and other talc products.
The justices turned away a J&J appeal and left in place a Missouri state court ruling in litigation brought by 22 women whose claims were heard together in one trial.
The Missouri Court of Appeals, an intermediate state appellate court, last year ruled against J&J’s bid to throw out the compensatory and punitive damages awarded to the plaintiffs but reduced the total to $2.12 billion from the $4.69 billion originally decided by a jury.
J&J said in a statement that there are unresolved legal issues that will continue to be litigated. It previously has said it faces more than 19,000 similar claims.
“The matters that were before the court are related to legal procedure, and not safety. Decades of independent scientific evaluations confirm Johnson’s Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer,” the company said.
J&J shares were down about 1.2% at $167.23.