HomeBUSINESSJohnson & Johnson Agrees to $700 Million Settlement Over Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson Agrees to $700 Million Settlement Over Talcum Powder Lawsuits

New York, June 10, 2024 – US pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to pay $700 million to settle allegations that it misled customers about the safety of its talcum-based powder products. The settlement, announced by New York’s Attorney General Letitia James, involves 42 states and the District of Columbia. Despite the settlement, J&J did not admit to any wrongdoing.

The company has faced thousands of lawsuits claiming that its talcum powder products, which contained traces of asbestos, were responsible for causing ovarian cancer. The controversy over the safety of J&J’s talcum powder has been ongoing for years, culminating in the withdrawal of the product from the North American market in 2020.

Settlement Details

Total Settlement Amount: $700 million

Amount for New York: $44 million, payable in four installments over three years

Other States Involved: 41 additional states and the District of Columbia

Statements from Officials and J&J

Attorney General Letitia James emphasized that the settlement provides some measure of accountability for the harm caused by J&J’s talc products. She stated, “No amount of money can undo the pain caused by Johnson & Johnson’s talc-laced products, but today families can rest assured that the company is being held accountable for the harm it caused.”

Erik Haas, J&J’s Worldwide Vice President of Litigation, reiterated the company’s commitment to resolving the talc litigation. He noted, “The process includes the finalization of a previously announced agreement that the Company reached with a consortium of 43 State Attorneys General to resolve their talc claims.”

Previous Settlement Efforts

In April 2023, J&J proposed an $8.9 billion agreement to resolve all claims related to cosmetic talc litigation. This sum was intended to be paid out over 25 years through a subsidiary, LTL Management LLC, which was established to manage these claims and had filed for bankruptcy protection. However, this arrangement was rejected by a bankruptcy judge.

Despite the settlement, J&J will continue to address claims from those who do not wish to participate in the consensual bankruptcy resolution, either through litigation or additional settlements. Haas indicated that the company remains focused on finding a comprehensive and final resolution to the talc litigation.

A summary of studies published in January 2020, covering 250,000 women in the United States, did not find a statistical link between the use of talc on the genitals and the risk of ovarian cancer. This finding contrasts with the claims made in the lawsuits but has not prevented the significant legal and financial repercussions for J&J.

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