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Talc products – asbestos settlement appears close

A statement issued by J & J claims that the plan will resolve 99.75% of pending lawsuits in the United States..

Johnson & Johnson has been the subject of thousands of lawsuits in the US courts which alleged that its baby powder and other talc products contain asbestos and has been the cause of ovarian cancer. The Times (2 May 2024), reports in an announcement by Johnson & Johnson that it is:

“moving forward with a $6.48 billion proposed settlement of 54,000 lawsuits” and that …“it will now vote with the hope of reaching consensus on a settlement of all current claims’’.

The claims are currently centralised in a New Jersey Federal Court Proceeding. The Times reports that the company has set aside $11 billion to account for all its talc settlements.

A statement issued by J & J claims that the plan will resolve 99.75% of pending lawsuits in the United States, with the remaining lawsuits relating to mesothelioma, which it says will be addressed outside the plan. The plan provides for a three month solicitation period during which ovarian claimants will have the opportunity to vote for or against the plan. If 75% of claimants vote in favour, a company subsidiary may file a consensual “pre-packaged” Chapter 11 Bankruptcy to secure its confirmation.

The statement from J & J references past and future litigation:

“Most ovarian claimants have not recovered and will not recover anything at trial. Indeed, the company has prevailed in approximately 95% of ovarian cases tried to date including every ovarian case tried over the last six years. In addition, based upon the historical run rate, it would take decades to litigate the remaining cases and therefore most claimants will never have “their day in court”.

Our occupational disease team is widely recognised as a market leader across the UK, handling in excess of 20,000 disease claims each year, our service delivery is tailored to meet each client’s needs.

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