Supreme Court Delivers Blow to J&J Over Baby Powder

Justices let suit brought by Mississippi over health risks proceed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 13, 2021 9:45 AM CST
Supreme Court Lets Suit Over Baby Powder Proceed
The Supreme Court is seen on Oct. 4, 2021.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – The Supreme Court on Monday turned away a request by Johnson & Johnson to halt a Mississippi lawsuit over its talcum powder products, per the AP. As is typical, the high court didn't say anything in turning away the case, which was included in a long list of cases the court said it wouldn't hear. The case dates to 2014, when Mississippi sued Johnson & Johnson. Mississippi argues the company violated state law by failing to warn users of "dangerous and potentially lethal" health risks of using its products, which Mississippi says increase the risk of ovarian cancer in women.

Johnson & Johnson says the Food and Drug Administration had considered requiring a warning on talcum powder products and concluded that the evidence didn't justify requiring one. It has argued that Mississippi is barred from suing, but Mississippi courts allowed the case to proceed. J&J, which is based in New Brunswick, NJ, has stopped selling its iconic talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder in the US and Canada, though it remains on the market elsewhere. Earlier this year, the court turned away a different talcum powder case involving a $2 billion verdict.

  • Another case: Also Monday, the court rejected an appeal from a conservative think tank over Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers' decision to exclude the group's writers from press briefings. The justices acted without comment, leaving in place lower court rulings that said the decision is legal, per the AP. The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy filed the lawsuit in 2019 alleging that Evers, a Democrat, violated its staffers' constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of the press, and equal access. Former Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, had joined in the institute's bid for high-court review. Evers defeated Walker in 2018.
(Read more Johnson & Johnson stories.)

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