Johnson & Johnson to pay $8.9 billion to settle claims that their talc baby powder caused cancer

SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 18: a container of Johnson’s baby powder made by Johnson and Johnson sits on a table on October 18, 2019 in San Anselmo, California. Johnson & Johnson, the maker of Johnson’s baby powder, announced a voluntary recall of 33,000 bottles of baby powder after federal regulators found trace amounts of asbestos in a single bottle of the product. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 11:40 AM – Wednesday, April 5, 2023

The Johnson & Johnson (J&J) conglomerate is more than quadrupling the amount it had previously set aside to cover its potential liabilities by allocating $8.9 billion to address allegations that their talcum baby powder caused cancer.


A J&J subsidiary will re-file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and ask the court to approve a plan that would lead to one of the biggest product liability settlements in American history, according to a proposal made public on Tuesday.

The $8.9 billion that J&J would give to the LTL Management subsidiary would be paid over the following 25 years. The sum is higher than the $2 billion reserve created by the New Jersey-based corporation in October 2021.

According to the company, the new sum is supported by more than 60,000 parties who have filed claims alleging harm from J&J talcum-based baby powder.

In a Tuesday statement that maintained that the charges “are specious and lack scientific merit,” a company executive also stressed the fact that J&J will not be admitting any wrongdoing as part of the proposed settlement.

However, according to Erik Haas, global vice president of litigation at J&J, defending against the lawsuits in court would be very expensive and probably take ten years or more.

“Resolving this matter through the proposed reorganization plan is both more equitable and more efficient, allows claimants to be compensated in a timely manner and enables the Company to remain focused on our commitment to profoundly and positively impact health for humanity,” Haas said.

In the claims brought against J&J, it was said that using talcum powder for feminine hygiene led to the development of both ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the lungs and other organs.

The allegations led to a decline in J&J’s baby powder sales, which forced the company to discontinue marketing its talc-based products in 2020.

Last year, Johnson & Johnson announced plans to stop the product’s global sales.

In after-hours trading on Tuesday, J&J’s shares increased by 3% following the company’s disclosure of the planned settlement.

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