Johnson & Johnson contemplates bankruptcy amid Talc trials

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is facing a series of 18 jury trials over the next year related to allegations of contaminated talc in its widely-known baby powder. This has prompted the company to consider a third bankruptcy filing, aiming to facilitate a comprehensive global settlement.


Trials are set across various states from Pennsylvania to California between November and December 2024. Some cases involve consolidated claims by multiple plaintiffs. This follows the dismissal of a Chapter 11 case by a J&J unit in July, which aimed to address all current and future talc claims.


Since 2016, J&J has incurred over $570 million in damage awards related to talc-linked cancer claims and paid out at least $2.5 billion in settlements.


Experts suggest that J&J is considering bankruptcy as a way to delay costly trials. Another filing would allow the company to request a stay on all trials while negotiations with lawyers representing talc victims continue.


J&J argues that the rational way to achieve a global talc resolution is through bankruptcy courts, allowing them to address future cancer claims. However, many claimants oppose this approach and want to pursue their cases in court. Currently, J&J faces around 51,000 lawsuits claiming that talc used in their products led to cancer.

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