Johnson & Johnson Moves Forward Billion Dollar Settlement in Talc Lawsuits

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Johnson & Johnson stated its intention to proceed with a $6.475 billion settlement proposal of cases alleging its talc products.
Johnson & Johnson stated its intention to proceed with a $6.475 billion settlement proposal of cases alleging its talc products.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has announced its intention to proceed with a $6.475 billion settlement proposal to address tens of thousands of cases alleging that its talc-based products contain asbestos and lead to ovarian cancer. 

The proposed deal aims to resolve these legal challenges through the bankruptcy filing of a subsidiary company, marking a significant development in a protracted legal battle.

Settlement Proposal and Voting Period: 

The proposed settlement, subject to a three-month voting period, seeks to address all current and future ovarian cancer claims against J&J. 

Ovarian cancer lawsuits constitute the majority of talc-related litigations, with approximately 54,000 cases consolidated in a New Jersey federal court. Previous attempts to resolve these lawsuits through bankruptcy filings were unsuccessful.

Support and Confidence in the Settlement: 

Despite previous setbacks, J&J expresses confidence in garnering the required 75% support threshold for the settlement. 

The company highlights the majority of support from plaintiff attorneys representing cancer claimants. J&J maintains that its talc products are asbestos-free and do not cause cancer.

Scope of the Proposed Deal: 

The proposed settlement builds upon previous agreements, including settlements with individuals affected by mesothelioma and U.S. states alleging failure to warn consumers about talc product dangers. 

While the exact value of mesothelioma settlements remains undisclosed, J&J recorded a $2.7 billion charge in the first quarter of 2024 for recent talc-related settlements.

Legal Proceedings and Recent Developments: 

Previous bankruptcy filings temporarily halted talc litigation from 2021 to 2023. However, trials resumed following a federal judge’s ruling to dismiss the latest bankruptcy case in July 2023. 

In March, J&J received an opportunity to contest scientific evidence linking talc to ovarian cancer in a New Jersey federal court, prompting a fresh review.

Continued Defense Amid Verdicts: 

While pursuing settlement votes, J&J reiterates its commitment to defending against lawsuits, citing a favorable track record in ovarian cancer cases. 

Despite prevailing in 95% of trials, the company has faced substantial verdicts, including a $2.12 billion award in favor of plaintiffs attributing ovarian cancer to J&J talc.

James Adam

James Adam, a noted business writer for CEO Times Magazine, specializes in insightful industry analysis and executive profiles. Known for his clear, concise style, James offers readers an expert perspective on global business trends and market dynamics.

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