Johnson & Johnson
Faces Ongoing Legal Battles Over Talcum Powder

Johnson & Johnson Faces Ongoing Legal Battles Over Talcum Powder

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) continues to grapple with extensive legal challenges related to its talcum powder products, which have been linked to cancer, including ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. The company has faced a significant number of lawsuits, with recent developments highlighting both settlements and ongoing litigation.

In a notable case, a Portland jury awarded $260 million to an Oregon woman diagnosed with mesothelioma, attributing her condition to long-term use of J&J’s talcum powder. This verdict includes $60 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages​. This case is among many that J&J is dealing with, as plaintiffs claim that asbestos in the company’s talc products caused their illnesses.

To manage its liabilities, J&J has made several settlement offers. In May 2024, the company proposed a $6.48 billion settlement to resolve nearly all its ovarian cancer lawsuits. This offer requires the approval of at least 75% of the plaintiffs involved​​. Earlier in January, J&J agreed to a $700 million settlement with 42 states and Washington, D.C., over allegations of deceptive marketing of its talc products.. However, these settlements do not impact the ongoing multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving thousands of individual claims.

J&J has also attempted to manage its talc liabilities through bankruptcy filings, a strategy that has faced legal pushback. The company’s efforts to use bankruptcy to limit its liability were denied by the courts, with the latest rejection occurring in August 2023​.

The ongoing litigation underscores the complex and contentious nature of the talcum powder lawsuits. Despite the settlements and proposed bankruptcy plans, many individual cases are still proceeding through the courts. J&J’s legal battles highlight the broader issue of corporate responsibility and consumer safety in the cosmetics industry.

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