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Johnson & Johnson Subsidiary Seeks Chapter Safety to Deal with Talc Product Claims – The New York Instances

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https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/14/business/johnson-johnson-bankruptcy-talc-claims.html

Johnson & Johnson introduced on Thursday {that a} subsidiary that it not too long ago created to handle claims that assert that its talc-based merchandise brought on most cancers had filed for chapter safety.

The corporate stated in an announcement that it hoped its submitting for Chapter 11 safety would assist resolve present and future claims “in a fashion that’s equitable to all events.”

J.&J. stated that it could present cash for the subsidiary for no matter quantities the chapter courtroom determined have been owed, and that it could create a $2 billion belief for that motive. Sure royalty income streams have been allotted for the subsidiary to pay for any future prices, it added.

Andy Birchfield, a lawyer for Beasley Allen Legislation Agency, which has labored on litigation towards Johnson & Johnson, stated in an announcement that the corporate’s submitting was an “try to cover behind chapter.”

“This stinks,” he stated. “J.&J. can run, however it will probably’t conceal.”

Mr. Birchfield likened the submitting to related strikes by the Boy Scouts of America and U.S.A. Gymnastics, which additionally filed for chapter this yr whereas going through authorized claims.

“Right here’s one other instance of the rich and highly effective utilizing chapter as a hiding place to guard their income and keep away from accountability,” he stated. “Your complete nation, Congress and greater than 30,000 victims of J.&J.’s harmful talc product say ‘no’ to this flagrant and fraudulent abuse of the chapter system.”

Michael Ullmann, govt vp and basic counsel at Johnson & Johnson, stated the corporate continued to “stand firmly behind the security of our beauty talc merchandise.”

“We’re taking these actions to carry certainty to all events concerned within the beauty talc instances,” he stated in an announcement.

The transfer is the newest twist within the saga of the corporate’s talc-based merchandise, together with its iconic child powder. Johnson & Johnson discontinued its North American gross sales of the product final yr, as the corporate faces hundreds of lawsuits filed by clients who say its merchandise trigger most cancers.

The subsidiary, LTL Administration, will now bear the brunt of the claims, the corporate stated. Johnson & Johnson itself and its different associates didn’t file for chapter safety and “will proceed to function their companies as typical,” it stated.

John Kim, the chief authorized officer of LTL, stated in an announcement that with the monetary backing from the dad or mum firm, the subsidiary was “assured all events might be handled equitably throughout this course of.”

Johnson & Johnson stated that its submitting was “not a concession of legal responsibility however fairly a method to realize an equitable and environment friendly decision of the claims raised within the beauty talc litigation.”

Whereas it has prevailed in some instances, the corporate has had main losses in courtroom over different claims. In June, a Missouri appeals courtroom ordered the corporate to pay $2.1 billion in damages to girls who stated the corporate’s talcum merchandise, together with its child powder, brought on their ovarian cancers.

In 2018, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $4.69 billion to 22 girls and their households, who stated that they developed ovarian most cancers from asbestos within the firm’s talcum-powder merchandise.

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