Johnson & Johnson has reached settlements in two talc lawsuits, marking a development in the ongoing legal battles the company faces over allegations that its talc-based products, including baby powder, cause cancer. The settlements pertain to lawsuits filed by Rosalino Reyes and Marlin Eagles, both of whom claimed to have developed mesothelioma linked to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson's talc powder.
The settlements, part of a broader agreement with the law firm representing Reyes and Eagles, did not disclose specific financial compensation or the number of cases covered. The agreement is seen as a move by Johnson & Johnson to resolve all talc-related cases brought by the law firm. Reyes's family continued the lawsuit following his death in 2020, while the Eagles trial had recently selected the jury.
The consumer goods giant faces around 50,000 lawsuits asserting a connection between its talc-based products and various cancers in customers. In 2018, a group of 22 women in Missouri was awarded a total of $4.6 billion in the largest verdict among talc-related lawsuits to date.
Johnson & Johnson has consistently contested the claims, stating that it has prevailed in the majority of cases because the allegations are meritless and based on "junk science." The company has expressed a commitment to aggressively litigate claims filed by firms that do not pursue what it considers reasoned resolutions.
In July, a U.S. bankruptcy judge dismissed Johnson & Johnson's second attempt to resolve the lawsuits by filing for bankruptcy protection. The company plans to appeal the decision. Despite Despite ongoing legal challenges, Johnson & Johnson maintains negotiations with other firms that share an interest in achieving fair and expedient resolutions for their clients' tax claims.
The settlements come against the backdrop of a broader legal landscape where Johnson & Johnson faces numerous legal actions related to its talc-based products. The company continues to navigate these challenges while emphasizing its commitment to addressing claims it deems lacking merit and defending itself against what it refers to as "junk science."