Good day. Companies are using bankruptcy as a tool to resolve lawsuits over an ever-broader range of alleged misconduct, from opioid addiction to sexual abuse and wildfire damage. J&J is now joining in, turning to chapter 11 to try to settle its liabilities for tens of thousands of personal-injury claims linked to talc-based baby powder.

Meanwhile, opponents of Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy plan got a guarantee that their arguments on appeal will be heard.

Top News

J&J places talc liabilities in chapter 11. Johnson & Johnson is testing the limits of bankruptcy law to address mass torts, placing its liabilities for allegedly dangerous talc products in chapter 11. The move is sure to touch off a confrontation with plaintiffs' lawyers, who say that bankruptcy wasn't meant to help solvent companies avoid accountability. At stake are tens of thousands of injury claims linking J&J's baby powder to ovarian cancer, mesothelioma and other ailments.

Judge eases officials' concerns on Purdue Pharma appeals. A federal judge said that Purdue Pharma LP's preparations to leave bankruptcy won't thwart government authorities' appeals seeking to overturn a $4.5 billion settlement with members of the Sackler family who own the company.

Bankruptcy

Drugmaker Teligent files bankruptcy after failed inspection. Generic drugmaker Teligent Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection after the Food and Drug Administration flagged problems at the company's manufacturing plant in Buena, N.J., that led to a recall and production halt.

Gulf Coast Health Care files for chapter 11. Gulf Coast Health Care Inc., which operates skilled-nursing facilities in Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, has filed for bankruptcy, with debts that include $49 million in rent owed to Omega Healthcare Investors Inc.

Consumers

Close to 40% of U.S. households say they face financial difficulties. U.S. households are struggling in many ways over a year into the coronavirus pandemic, according to new polling. The results show how the pandemic deepened an already divided economy, with well-off people and businesses coming out the same or stronger while many lower-wage workers were thrust into financial crisis.

"Short-term help is not enough to solve deeply entrenched inequities."

-- Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Distress

Banks reap profits from loan-loss reserves. Banks last year set aside billions of dollars to prepare for a wave of pandemic loan defaults. Now they are releasing those funds, which flow straight to the bottom line. Wells Fargo and Bank of America posted banner third-quarter results, each company boosted by the release of loan-loss reserves.

In Other News

The Justice Department's bankruptcy watchdog is opposing drugmaker Mallinckrodt Plc's reorganization plan to settle thousands of lawsuits over its opioid painkillers, arguing that it would improperly waive potential legal claims against affiliated third parties. (Bloomberg)

The Chapter 7 trustee overseeing the dissolution of Kossoff PLLC is stepping up his fight to gain access to records of the defunct New York real estate law firm, seeking sanctions against an insurance company and pressing one of the largest banks in the world to cooperate. (Reuters)

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 15, 2021 08:54 ET (12:54 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
Historical Stock Chart
From Dec 2021 to Jan 2022 Click Here for more Johnson and Johnson Charts.
Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
Historical Stock Chart
From Jan 2021 to Jan 2022 Click Here for more Johnson and Johnson Charts.