CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Lawyers who
represent more than 30,000 women who have filed lawsuits against
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) in connection with its defective
talc body powders, including the iconic Johnson's Baby Powder, say
they will resist J&J's decision to use bankruptcy to avoid
legal responsibility for the cancers tied to those products.
"It seems inconceivable that bankruptcy involving a highly
profitable $500 billion company could
be contemplated, let alone become reality," says Andy Birchfield of the Beasley Allen law firm, which represents
thousands of women and families alleging that use of the company's
Baby Powder led to ovarian cancer. "It seems hypocritical that such
a company could defend a product it claims to be safe, while
seeking bankruptcy protection for marketing that same product it
knew to be dangerous."
On Thursday, J&J announced that it had created a separate
subsidiary, LTL Management LLC (LTL) to "hold and manage claims in
the cosmetic talc litigation." At the same time, J&J placed the
subsidiary into bankruptcy, filing in the Western District of
North Carolina, Charlotte
Division. This venue is considered responsive to companies seeking
to shield themselves from legal claims brought about by their
Mr. Birchfield says that recent abuses of the bankruptcy system
mean that members of Congress including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) will join talc cancer
victims in opposing J&J's bankruptcy plan. An increasing number
of bankruptcy experts have voiced concerns about similar previous
ploys, as corporate bankruptcies are normally reserved for
struggling businesses that need relief from creditors.
"Right behind the Sacklers, the Boy Scouts and USA Gymnastics, here's another example of the
wealthy and powerful using bankruptcy as a hiding place to protect
their profits and avoid responsibility," says Birchfield.
According to the bankruptcy filing, Johnson & Johnson is
proposing to create a $2 billion
settlement fund. In the ongoing talc litigation, one single verdict
for 20 women exceeded that amount, and total talc-related
liabilities are estimated at more than $25
billion. Ovarian cancer is a horrific and deadly
disease that exacts both an emotional and financial toll on women
and their families. On average, medical expenses related to ovarian
cancer caused by talc often exceed $500,000 per victim.
Mr. Birchfield says the filing creates an uncertain future for
pending trials, including thousands of talc cases filed in
multidistrict litigation in New
Jersey federal court.
"As a firm, we are committed to challenging this petition at
every level and fighting any attempt by J&J to further delay
scheduled trials and prolong the suffering of thousands of ovarian
cancer victims and their families," says Mr. Birchfield. "We will
fight – no matter how hard and how long it takes – until these
women get justice."
SOURCE Beasley Allen Law Firm