(CTN News) – Johnson & Johnson, the US pharmaceutical giant, has proposed an $8.9 billion settlement to resolve years-old lawsuits that claim that its products containing talcum powder caused cancer.
This statement specifies that, if approved by the bankruptcy court, the proposed settlement, which still needs to be approved by the bankruptcy court, “will result in an equitably and efficiently resolved resolution of all claims arising out of the cosmetic talc litigation in an expeditious manner.”
This $8.9 billion payout, if approved by the court and a majority of the plaintiffs, would be one of the largest product liability settlements ever in the history of the United States, ranking alongside settlements entered into by tobacco companies as well as opioid manufacturers, which have been more recent.
It has been revealed that Johnson & Johnson has faced thousands of lawsuits regarding talcum powder containing asbestos. This powder has been accused of causing ovarian cancer in women.
Due to the fact that the company has never admitted any wrongdoing, American and Canadian consumers will no longer be able to purchase talc-based baby powder in May 2020.
“We continue to believe that these claims are speculative and lack scientific merit,” Erik Haas, Johnson & Johnson vice president of litigation, said in a statement after the company released a statement on the charges.
In a statement released Thursday, Johnson & Johnson announced that the company was planning on paying out $8.9 billion over the next 25 years to the tens of thousands of claimants through a subsidiary, LTL Management LLC, which was set up to handle the claims and turned into a bankruptcy entity.
In its statement, LTL said that it has “secured commitments from over 60,000 current claimants to support the implementation of a global resolution on these terms.”
An appellate court had rejected a previous settlement involving LTL, which will now have to be approved by a bankruptcy court in order to finalize the new bankruptcy filing and settlement involving LTL.
As a result of the allegations made against the cosmetic talc brand created by Johnson & Johnson that it caused gynecological cancers, Johnson & Johnson had previously proposed a settlement of $2 billion.
According to the company, that the new settlement proposal does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing on the part of the company, nor does it indicate that it has changed its position that its talcum powder products are safe over the years.
The company, however, said it was in its best interests to resolve this issue as quickly and efficiently as possible for the benefit of all stakeholders as well as the company itself.
As Haas explains, the settlement “allows the company to remain focused on its commitment to profoundly and positively impact human health for a long time to come and allows claimants to be reimbursed in a timely manner.”