Talc-Based Powder

Reuters | |

Johnson & Johnson is exploring a plan to offload liabilities from widespread Baby Powder litigation into a newly created business that would then seek bankruptcy protection, according to seven people familiar with the matter.

During settlement discussions, one of the healthcare conglomerate’s attorneys has told plaintiffs’ lawyers that J&J could pursue the bankruptcy plan, which could result in lower payouts for cases that do not settle beforehand, some of the people said. Plaintiffs’ lawyers would initially be unable to stop J&J from taking such a step, though could pursue legal avenues to challenge it later.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Johnson & Johnson has earmarked $3.9 billion to help cover the cost of thousands of lawsuits it faces over accusations that its baby powder was laced with cancer-causing asbestos.

The New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant revealed its litigation expenses for 2020 in a securities filing on Monday, saying the funding was “primarily associated with talc-related reserves and certain settlements.” 

According to the filing, 25,000 plaintiffs have su...