Since 1886, Johnson & Johnson health and pharmaceutical products have appeared in homes across the US and around the world. From baby powder to sunscreen, J&J products meet a variety of consumer needs. But recently, the company has faced a growing number of baby powder lawsuits. These lawsuits come from consumers alleging that J&J Baby Powder contains asbestos. The presence of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in baby powder may have contributed to the rising number of cancer cases in those who used this product. Advocates have argued that J&J knew their products contained asbestos but continued to sell the product.
Bankruptcy move puts baby powder lawsuits on hold
In 2009, the first lawsuit was filed against J&J, claiming that their baby powder caused cancer. Since then, plaintiffs have been awarded nearly $3.5 billion through settlements and verdicts. Some of these verdicts and settlements have been overturned on appeal.
Most retailers in the US and Canada pulled J&J baby powder from store shelves in 2019. J&J shared that the items were removed due to declining retail sales and misinformation about lawsuits. of the company.
Recently, US federal judge Michael Kaplan ruled that the J&J Bankruptcy Plan, which saw the creation of LTL Management, could continue. In this plan, J&J split into two companies and transferred the baby powder claims to LTL Management, which promptly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This move separated J&J’s assets from its liabilities. When LTL filed for bankruptcy, more than 38,000 lawsuits were stayed until the bankruptcy plan was approved.
The plaintiffs were furious that J&J is one of the richest companies in the country, valued at more than $450 billion. It is believed that these moves could save J&J billions of dollars. Filing for bankruptcy could be an effort to avoid overpayments and force plaintiffs to accept lower value settlements.
Bankruptcy can’t block industrial demand for talc
J&J is facing another lawsuit brought by the family of a man who worked at its Windsor Minerals mine, where talc was mined. In 1986, this worker filed a lawsuit against J & J, alleging that his lung disease resulted from exposure to asbestos while working in the mine. The employee agreed to drop his lawsuit after J & J submitted sworn testimony that no evidence showed that J & J’s talc contained asbestos. The worker’s family has reopened the case, arguing that many of the lawsuits filed against J&J in recent years have succeeded because there is evidence to support that talc contains asbestos, which causes cancer such as ovarian and lung cancer. The family alleges that the evidence shows that the company has concealed the test results and provided false records.
While most of J&J’s baby powder lawsuits are currently on hold, the lawsuit brought by the worker’s family was allowed to proceed because it alleges J&J concealed evidence and differs from the other baby powder lawsuits.