June 1 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to hear and appeal from Johnson & Johnson to a verdict for women who said the company's talcum powder products caused ovarian cancer, a move that allows a $2.1 billion award to stand.
In its appeal, the pharma company argued that it didn't receive a fair trial thee years ago.
In 2018, a Missouri jury awarded 22 women who'd used Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products about $4.7 billion. The women claimed the powder was contaminated with asbestos.
A state appeals court cut the civil judgment to $2.1 billion.
The high court justices did not comment in rejecting the appeal Tuesday and two justices did not take part in the decision due to conflicts of interest.
The women first filed their lawsuit in 2015, claiming the company knew for years that its talc products contained asbestos, but kept it a secret.
Johnson & Johnson denied the asbestos link and said epidemiological studies found no connection between talc use and ovarian cancer. A 2020 study failed to find a statistically significant connection.
After facing thousands of lawsuits, the company announced last year that it would stop selling baby powder made with talc in the United States.
Johnson & Johnson argued in its appeal that it hadn't received a fair trial because the Missouri courts combined the cases of two dozen women from 12 states, which it said was problematic for jurors. It also argued the jury's award didn't match actual or monetary damages.