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Johnson & Johnson reaches $700 million talc settlement with US govt – Times of India

TOI World Desk

NEW DELHI: Johnson & Johnson has agreed to a $700 million settlement to resolve an investigation by 42 US states and Washington, DC. The probe scrutinized the marketing of their baby powder and other talc-based products, linked to allegations of causing cancer.
The agreement addresses accusations that Johnson & Johnson misled consumers regarding the safety of its talc products.These products have been sold for over a century before the company ceased their sales.
J&J has not admitted to any wrongdoing as part of this settlement with the states, which included leaders like Florida, North Carolina, and Texas. The company maintains that its talc products are safe and do not cause cancer. They announced a settlement in principle in January.
“This is a major advancement for consumer product safety,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a statement.
Johnson & Johnson is dealing with a significant number of lawsuits related to their talc products. As of March 31, around 61,490 individuals have sued the company.
The majority of these cases involve women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, while some plaintiffs have mesothelioma, a cancer attributed to asbestos exposure.
Last year, J&J discontinued the sale of its talc-based baby powder worldwide, opting for corn starch as the primary ingredient. The company maintains that its products are asbestos-free.
In an effort to manage the litigation, J&J created a subsidiary to handle its talc liabilities and attempted to place it in bankruptcy twice. Both attempts were unsuccessful in court.
On May 1, J&J proposed a $6.48 billion settlement to resolve most of the litigation through a third bankruptcy filing. It has set aside an $11 billion reserve to cover all talc liabilities.
“The company continues to pursue several paths to achieve a comprehensive and final resolution of the talc litigation,” Erik Haas, J&J worldwide vice president of litigation, said in a statement on Tuesday.
“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,” he added.
(With Reuters inputs)

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