Lawyers for Women Pursuing Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits Tell 3rd Circuit J&J Bankruptcy “Built on a Foundation of Bad Faith”

Plaintiffs are urging the court to allow talcum powder cancer lawsuits to proceed despite the bankruptcy filing.

A federal appeals court heard oral arguments this week from lawyers for women pursuing talcum powder cancer lawsuits, who are challenging a controversial bankruptcy filing by Johnson & Johnson, which they indicate was conducted in bad faith to derail the litigation and avoid liability costs the company could easily cover.

Johnson & Johnson faces more than 38,000 Baby Powder lawsuits and Shower-to-Shower lawsuits filed by women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, mesothelioma and other injuries, which they claim was caused by asbestos in the talc-based products.

Following massive jury awards in a number of early trials, Johnson & Johnson decided to pursue a controversial “Texas Two-Step” bankruptcy plan in February, attempting to spin off all liability it faces for failing to warn consumers about the cancer risks from talcum powder into a separate company, LTL Management, LLC, which was created solely for the purpose of placing it into bankruptcy.

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Talcum powder or talc powder may cause women to develop ovarian cancer.

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The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals heard a challenge to the filing on Monday, which will determine whether the company will be allowed to shield itself from potentially billions of dollars in claims, and force settlements through a bankruptcy process, which critics claim is a clear misuse of the system.

While Johnson & Johnson continues to maintain that the bankruptcy filing was legally valid, plaintiffs’ attorneys pointed out that the company brought in $93.8 billion in revenue last year, and does not need the bankruptcy protections, other than to use the process to limit the amount of damages it will have to payout, telling the appeals court that the maneuver was “built on a foundation of bad faith.”

In June, U.S. Trustee Andrew Vara filed a brief on behalf of the Justice Department, supporting the talcum powder plaintiffs’ position that the bankruptcy filing should not be allowed to continue, indicating that the “misuse of the bankruptcy system is an issue of substantial importance” to his office.

The court’s decision could have far-reaching implications, as legal experts have noted more and more companies are using the “Texas Two-Step” tactic to avoid liability costs by forcing claims through the U.S. bankruptcy process, instead of proceeding through the civil justice system where a jury can determine how much is owed.

Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Lawsuit Update

The Johnson & Johnson talc powder bankruptcy scheme has been widely criticized by plaintiffs lawyers, as well as bankruptcy experts, as an abuse of the legal process and effort to delay a series of trials that were expected to go before juries this year.

Talcum powder plaintiffs say Johnson & Johnson, which has billions in cash reserves, has no financial distress that would merit a bankruptcy filing. However, if the bankruptcy is allowed to move forward, settlements for talcum powder cancer and asbestos lawsuits may be artificially capped.

Defending against the talc ovarian cancer claims has already cost Johnson & Johnson $1 billion, on top of Baby Powder settlements and verdicts that have amounted to another $3.5 billion, according to the bankruptcy filing.

On August 11, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health announced plans to stop using talcum powder globally in its Baby Powder next year. Despite its plans, which include a switch to cornstarch-based powdered cosmetic products, the company continued to defend the safety of its talc-based powder products in the statement.

The Third Circuit is expected to hand down a decision sometime next month. Plaintiffs’ attorneys representing tens of thousands of women say if the court rules in favor of Johnson & Johnson, they plan to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

3 Comments

  • RoslynDecember 14, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    It's sad that Johnson & Johnson wants to avoid paying these women. My Mother was a Victim and she passed away because of it.. THEY TOOK MY MOTHER AWAY FROM US !!!!!!!!!!!. And it's even more SAD when the courts side with these DEVILS and entertain the thought of a Bankruptcy. Also to have to wait for YEARS to get Justice for my MOTHER. A lot of us is disappointed in the courts systems for letting [Show More]It's sad that Johnson & Johnson wants to avoid paying these women. My Mother was a Victim and she passed away because of it.. THEY TOOK MY MOTHER AWAY FROM US !!!!!!!!!!!. And it's even more SAD when the courts side with these DEVILS and entertain the thought of a Bankruptcy. Also to have to wait for YEARS to get Justice for my MOTHER. A lot of us is disappointed in the courts systems for letting them Manipulate them . If it was their family member they would try too hurry up and make a decision. I JUST WANT JUSTICE... I MISS MY MOTHER SHE WAS A AMAZING WOMEN. Thanks for listening.

  • LisaOctober 23, 2022 at 2:57 pm

    Anyone that makes a product especially when the outcome is dangerous should be liable thanks to them I was 18 and could no longer have any more children. I feel they took away from me that should of not been there decision Thank you for listening God bless you

  • T.October 8, 2022 at 5:31 pm

    While it is very clear that J&J will do what ever it can to stall the proceedings and avoid the the big payout, some legal entities and specially those in Canada are in no hurry to dispense justice to thousands of women who suffered from this blatant act of negligence of the highest order. The class pertaining to J&J Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits has not been certified in Canada even after passag[Show More]While it is very clear that J&J will do what ever it can to stall the proceedings and avoid the the big payout, some legal entities and specially those in Canada are in no hurry to dispense justice to thousands of women who suffered from this blatant act of negligence of the highest order. The class pertaining to J&J Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits has not been certified in Canada even after passage of almost 4 years. Their law school probably did not tell them that "Justice delayed is justice denied".

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