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Johnson & Johnson hit by 11,000 more lawsuits linking Baby Powder to Cancer after Judge Throws $9 Billion settlement case.

Johnson & Johnson has witnessed a minimum of 28% increase in the number of lawsuits that claim its talc-based baby Powder is causing Cancer just more than five weeks after the company's plan to settle the lawsuits was removed from the bankruptcy court.

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Oct 02 (The Justice Now) — A New Jersey judge overseeing all the federal litigation involving talc during a hearing in September. 6 in a court session, more than 11,000 lawsuits were filed, according to court transcripts. J&J was seeking to settle more than 40,000 talc lawsuits for $9 billion by resolving bankruptcy proceedings of the LTL Management unit, which was set up to stop health claims linked to talc that was allegedly contaminated with an endocrine-disrupting substance. But a bankruptcy judge decided to throw the case on July 28.

The increase in lawsuits will likely hinder efforts by J&J to settle nearly a decade of lawsuits alleging that talc-based Baby Powder causes ovarian Cancer as well as another cancer attributed to exposure to asbestos. J&J, which appealed against the bankruptcy’s dismissal, is currently preparing for a state court trial in California, which is scheduled to begin in the next month.

“J&J have dug themselves quite a hole in the talc litigation, and it just keeps getting deeper and deeper,” said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond professor who teaches the law of mass torts. “They need to seriously think about adding some significant money to their settlement offer so they can get these cases off the books.”

J&J stated that it was not surprised by the increase in lawsuits since new cases were not allowed once LTL initiated the bankruptcy process in 2021. “Following the bankruptcy dismissal, we fully anticipated plaintiff lawyers would immediately file the cases they had been collecting since 2021,” J&J declared in an email. “Johnson & Johnson and LTL are prepared to return to the tort system and vigorously defend the Company in talc-related cases.”

Pulled From Shelves

A New Brunswick, Jersey-based company has taken its talc-based products off their shelves in both the U.S. and Canada in 2020, citing declining sales. The world’s biggest manufacturer of health-related products has changed the talcum-based Powder to a cornstarch version. J&J has pledged to eliminate all its baby powders that contain Talcum powder before the end of the year.

J&J faces a flurry of trials before juries next year based on allegations that its top executives knew in the early 1970s that talc contained trim levels of asbestos but did not inform consumers or the regulators. J&J insists that its talc-based products aren’t a cause of Cancer and that it has promoted Baby Powder appropriately for more than 100 years.

As part of its strategy in bankruptcy court, J&J made a deal of almost nine billion to settle all of its future and present liabilities in the talc lawsuit. However, plaintiffs rebuffed the offer as insufficient financially. A court of appeals ruled that J&J had abused the bankruptcy process by allowing a unit to seek Chapter 11 protections in hopes of reaching an agreement.

Tossed Again

J&J had filed a second bankruptcy suit in the hope of reviving the possibility of settlement; however, a judge from New Jersey threw that case out after determining that the talc case didn’t create J&J enough financial burden to warrant the bankruptcy process to deal with the issue. J&J highlighted the $4.7 billion verdict by a jury in the year 2018 in a Missouri talc lawsuit as an example of the reason it wasn’t able to deal with the litigation through the standard tort system.

Following it was decided that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider J&J’s appeal over the verdict that was cut to $2.1 billion — the company finally compensated the 20 women in the lawsuit. J&J has had to go through many talc cases over the past ten years, with some winning, losing others, and even settling some claims.

Holly Froum and Negisa Balluku, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts, reported earlier in the month that J&J might have to pay more than $10 billion to pay off its talc debt following bankruptcy’s decision to dismiss. In the past, Chris Schott, who is an analyst at JPMorgan Chase and Co. analyst, estimated J&J’s total liability for talc as between $8 billion to $10 billion.

In a securities filing in February, J&J reported the company was in the process of settling 40,300 lawsuits in which it claimed its talc-based products caused Cancer. With the new 11,000 cases, the total number has risen to 51.300. The figure doesn’t include state courts.

U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp, who is supervising federal court talc cases that have been consolidated to facilitate pre-trial information exchanges as well as trial trials, told the September. 6 hearing that he doesn’t anticipate any cases to go through before him until the end of next year.

“It appears that the earliest the parties will be prepared to proceed to a bellwether trial will be either late 2024 or early 2025,” Shipp claimed, according to the transcript.

It can be found In Re Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, 16 md-2738, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Trenton).

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Cancer due to Talcum Powder, you may be entitled to compensation from the government. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to learn more about your rights and options.

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