Supreme Court

Supreme Court declines to hear J&J’s appeal of $140 million verdict

Reuters reports that the US Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear Johnson & Johnson’s appeal of a $140 million Massachusetts jury verdict that found the company liable for failing to warn that Children’s Motrin (ibuprofen) could cause a severe skin condition. The jury verdict was one of the largest ever awarded in Massachusetts state court.

It was reported that J&J had “sought to convince the Supreme Court that federal law preempted the state court verdict.” The company claims it would have violated labeling guidelines by the Food and Drug Administration if it had listed specific conditions.

A Massachusetts jury found J&J and McNeil liable for failing to warn Reckis about those side effects and awarded her and her parents $63 million. With interest, the judgment totals $140 million.

J&J said the case should have been dismissed because the FDA had declined to grant a petition from several doctors and consumers seeking to add the names of those skin conditions to the warning label because they are unfamiliar to most consumers, and instead referenced potential redness, rash and blisters that are symptoms of those conditions.

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