These products had been accused of causing cancer
Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will pay 8.9 billion dollars over the next 25 years to settle all the lawsuits filed against the company and its talcum powder, accused of causing cancer. Following the news, the company’s shares rose more than 2% in the Wall Street premarket.
The drugmaker unveiled the settlement during a securities filing, in which LTL Management (LTL), a J&J subsidiary set up to concentrate the lawsuits, has again filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to obtain approval of a reorganization plan.
“Resolving this matter through the proposed plan of reorganization is more equitable and more efficient, allows claimants to be compensated in a timely manner, and allows the company to remain focused on our commitment to profoundly and positively impact the health of humanity,” Erik Haas, J&J’s global vice president of litigation, said in a statement.
The more than 60,000 plaintiffs have pledged to support the settlement on these terms, which will now need court approval.
Mikal Watts, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers who has been responsible for negotiating the settlement, has acknowledged that J&J was committed to “fairly compensating these deserving women” who have battled cancer because of talc products. “Our job is to make sure our customers are paid fairly for their injuries, and this settlement is the culmination of a job well done,” he said, according to ‘CNBC’.
Despite the settlement, Johnson & Johnson continues to deny the allegations. “The company continues to believe that these claims are misleading and lack scientific merit,” Haas said.
The U.S. firm withdrew its ‘Johnson’s Baby Powder’ baby powder from the global market this year after numerous allegations that the product was carcinogenic.
Also, in August last year, the company announced the transition of its entire baby powder product range to a cornstarch-based composition.
Between 2020 and 2021, Johnson & Johnson has had to face expenses of 7.4 billion dollars in litigation and legal costs.