The Reardon Law Firm continues to represent women who have suffered from ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for extended periods of time. However, the legal maneuvering of the manufacturer of the product, Johnson & Johnson, has caused significant delays in the fight to obtain compensation.
History of Lawsuits
Tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women who have developed ovarian cancer (or mesothelioma) from baby powder. Estimates range from 20,000 to 40,000 nationwide. Although Johnson & Johnson announced the suspension of all talc baby powder sales around the world, the company continues to claim that the product is safe.
Last year, Johnson & Johnson engaged in what has become known as the “Texas Two-Step.” In October of 2021, the company spun off a subsidiary called LTL, located in North Carolina, and then transferred all of the liabilities (debts) created through the talcum powder lawsuits to the new subsidiary. LTL immediately filed for bankruptcy, effectively stopping the lawsuits pending against Johnson & Johnson from proceeding.
The company states that the maneuver was perfectly legal, and that a settlement effectuated with LTL may provide those injured by talcum powder with a fund available for compensation in the amount of approximately $60 billion. However, plaintiffs, and their attorneys, argue that the bankruptcy filing was a strategy designed only to shield Johnson & Johnson from liability.
Attorneys representing the plaintiffs have filed appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit will soon decide whether the bankruptcy was filed in good faith or whether it should be dismissed. It is anticipated that the matter could ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court. Regardless of the outcome, many talcum powder users harmed by a product the manufacturer claims to be safe could succumb to illness before receiving a settlement.