12 Jun 2024, 12:02

Johnson & Johnson reaches $700 mn talc case settlement

NEW YORK, June 12, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - US pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant
Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $700 million to settle allegations it
misled customers about the safety of its talcum-based powder products, New
York's attorney general announced Tuesday.

In its settlement with 42 states and the District of Columbia, Johnson &
Johnson did not admit wrongdoing, even though it withdrew the product from
the North American market in 2020.

The New Jersey-based company announced a settlement in principle in January
after facing thousands of lawsuits over talcum powder containing traces of
asbestos blamed for causing ovarian cancer.

"No amount of money can undo the pain caused by Johnson & Johnson's talc-
laced products, but today families can rest assured that the company is being
held accountable for the harm it caused," New York Attorney General Letitia
James said in a statement.

The state of New York will receive $44 million of the settlement amount,
which must be paid in four installments over three years.

In a statement to AFP, Johnson & Johnson Worldwide Vice President of
Litigation Erik Haas said the company "continues to pursue several paths to
achieve a comprehensive and final resolution of the talc litigation."

The process "includes the finalization of a previously announced agreement
that the Company reached with a consortium of 43 State Attorneys Generals to
resolve their talc claims."

In April 2023, the group proposed an $8.9 billion agreement that would
"equitably and efficiently resolve all claims arising from cosmetic talc

J&J said the money would be paid to the tens of thousands of claimants over
25 years through a subsidiary, LTL Management LLC, which was set up to
address the claims and has filed for bankruptcy protection.

However, a bankruptcy judge rejected the arrangement.

"We will continue to address the claims of those who do not want to
participate in our contemplated consensual bankruptcy resolution through
litigation or settlement," Haas added in his statement Tuesday.

A summary of studies published in January 2020 and covering 250,000 women in
the United States did not find a statistical link between the use of talc on
the genitals and the risk of ovarian cancer.

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