Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Marketing Probe for $700 Million

Facing an investigation into the marketing of its talc-based products, including baby powder, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $700 million to settle accusations by 42 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., that the company’s products were purportedly connected to cancer. The lawsuit claimed that J&J deceived customers about the safety of these products, which it sold for more than a century before discontinuing. Even with the payment, J&J insisted that their talc products are asbestos-free and safe, refusing to acknowledge any wrongdoing. Attorney General, Ashley Moody of Florida, described the settlement as a major step forward in the safety of consumer products.

By March 31, 2024, J&J had over 61,490 lawsuits pending against them and despite the staggering settlement value, the firm continues to face several legal difficulties. These lawsuits, who are primarily female candidates facing mesothelioma or ovarian cancer, allege that talc goods caused their diseases.  In order to handle its talc obligations, J&J has declared bankruptcy a third time, proposing a $6.48 billion settlement and allocating a $11 billion reserve. Courts rejected the company's earlier attempts to use bankruptcy to end the legal dispute. J&J continues to explore multiple avenues to achieve a comprehensive resolution of the talc litigation, addressing claims through litigation or settlement.

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