Johnson & Johnson has proposed an $8.9 billion talcum powder settlement fund expected to be paid out over the next 25 years to former talcum powder users diagnosed with ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. The settlement proposal comes as the manufacturer faces more than 60,000 lawsuits claiming that its Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powders cause cancer, and on the same day a bankruptcy judge lifted a stay that was preventing tens of thousands of these claims against J&J from moving forward. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma and you believe Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based powder products to be the cause, contact Consumer Safety Watch right away. You may be eligible to join the talcum powder cancer litigation and recover financial compensation for your injuries.
Johnson & Johnson proposes this new settlement fund as the company faces the prospect of spending decades fighting talcum powder cancer claims in court and paying billions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. Just last year, in an attempt to sidestep these substantial litigation costs, Johnson & Johnson initiated a controversial bankruptcy scheme that involved transferring all liability the company faced for talcum powder cancer claims to a newly created subsidiary called LTL Management, LLC, and then having the subsidiary immediately file for bankruptcy. The U.S. Circuit Court for the Third District rejected the subsidiary’s bankruptcy filing earlier this year and more recently denied the company’s request for a rehearing. Just this week, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court issued an order finalizing the bankruptcy dismissal and lifting the automatic stay, which paves the way for thousands of talcum powder cancer cases to proceed to trial and for new claims to be filed.
Most of the talcum powder lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson have been centralized in New Jersey federal court, where a multidistrict litigation (MDL) was established before Chief Judge Freda Wolfson. However, when Judge Wolfson retired this past January, U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp was appointed to take over the talcum powder MDL. With the bankruptcy stay lifted and the talcum powder lawsuits set to resume, plaintiffs are pushing for jury trials to be scheduled on an accelerated basis. In a letter sent to Judge Shipp last week, the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) asked the court for a status conference to discuss how pretrial proceedings and bellwether trials will proceed.
“Prior to the bankruptcy filing, Chief Judge Wolfson expressed her intent to conduct at least one bellwether trial. As noted below, the PSC stands ready to try bellwether cases in the MDL court on an accelerated basis,” states the letter, which notes that as many as 600 women with claims against J&J have died just since the LTL Management bankruptcy filing was initiated. “Expeditious remands will ensure that more living plaintiffs have their day in Court.”
Before Johnson & Johnson put its LTL Management subsidiary into bankruptcy, the court had “denied Defendants’ Daubert motions and found that there was reliable scientific evidence in support of talcum powder causing cancer.” As part of this new proposed settlement (one of the largest product liability settlements in U.S. history, significantly larger than the $2 billion the company previously earmarked for talcum powder lawsuits in October 2021), LTL Management will re-file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and seek court approval for a reorganization plan that will create an $8.9 billion fund to resolve current and future talcum powder cancer claims over the next 25 years. Contact Consumer Safety Watch today if you believe you developed cancer as a result of using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based powder products. With an experienced talcum powder cancer attorney on your side, you can determine whether you qualify to pursue a product liability lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson.