Johnson & Johnson Will Pay $6.5 Billion to Settle Talc Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson Will Pay $6.5 Billion to Settle Talc Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits
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Key Takeaways

  • Some consumers have longstanding lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, claiming that its talc-based products caused their ovarian cancers

  • The company said Wednesday it's hopeful that a $6.5 billion payout could settle those lawsuits

  • The deal is pending, requiring the approval of 75% of claimants

THURSDAY, May 2, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday that it would pay out more than $6.5 billion over the next 25 years to settle existing lawsuits claiming that its talc-containing products caused ovarian cancer.

The settlement still awaits approval from claimants.

Claims from consumers that baby powders and other J & J talc-based products cause ovarian cancer have dogged the company for years, leading J & J to discontinue sales of these products.

According to NBC News, J & J attempted to resolve the lawsuits through the bankruptcy of a subsidiary, LTL Management, but courts twice blocked that effort. LTL Management was created to absorb the company’s talc liabilities, and this is the third time bankruptcy has been filed in an effort to resolve the lawsuits.

However, in the prior bankruptcy proceedings, claimants did not have an opportunity to vote. This time, J & J is initiating a three-month voting period for claimants. If 75% of voters approve, it would signal a bankruptcy settlement that would end the litigation entirely and prevent future lawsuits, J&J executives said on a call with investors on Wednesday.

“We firmly believe this plan is in the best interest of claimants and should receive a favorable and immediate confirmation from the bankruptcy court,” said Erik Haas, J&J’s worldwide vice president of litigation, NBC News reported.

A few cases involve claimants who contend that long-term use of talc products caused a form of lung cancer called mesothelioma; those cases are being resolved outside the new settlement plan. According to NBC News, J &J said it has already resolved 95% of the mesothelioma claims.

J & J also announced that it has reached “final and comprehensive” settlements that should end a probe launched by 40 states investigating whether the company misled patients about the safety of its talc baby powder and other talc-based products, NBC News reported.

More information

Find out more about ovarian cancer at the American Cancer Society.

SOURCE: NBC News, May 1, 2024

What This Means For You

Johnson & Johnson believes it is near a settlement of all present and future lawsuits claiming that its talc-based products caused users' ovarian cancers.

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