Johnson & Johnson unveils new plan to settle talc claims

New Jersey appeals court overturns $223.8M verdict regarding J&J talc powder
New Jersey appeals court overturns $223.8M verdict regarding J&J talc powder

Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday said it will pay $6.5 billion to settle nearly all of the lawsuits in the U.S. claiming its talc-based products caused ovarian cancer, through a third bankruptcy filing of a subsidiary company, LTL Management.

According to the terms of the deal, the New Brunswick-based firm will begin a three-month voting period for claimants, in hopes of reaching a consensus on a settlement of all current and future ovarian cancer claims.

If three-quarters vote in favor, J&J said it will seek approval of the deal from a bankruptcy court and pay the funds to plaintiffs who say they developed ovarian cancer after using J&J’s talc products over 25 years.

Ovarian cancer claims account for 99% of the talc-related lawsuits filed against J&J, including about 54,000 lawsuits that are centralized in a New Jersey federal court proceeding.

“The plan is the culmination of our consensual resolution strategy that we announced last October,” Erik Haas, worldwide vice president of litigation, Johnson & Johnson, said. “Since then, the company has worked with counsel representing the overwhelming majority of talc claimants to bring this litigation to a close, which we expect to do through this plan.”

Finally, the company has also reached an agreement in principle to resolve all talc-related claims against it in the bankruptcy cases filed by suppliers of its talc (Imerys Talc America, Inc., Cyprus Mines Corp. and their related parties).