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Johnson & Johnson to settle talc child powder probe

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Containers of Johnson and Johnson child powder are displayed on a Walgreens shelf on April 05, 2023 in San Anselmo, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Pictures

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Johnson & Johnson has reached a tentative settlement to resolve an investigation by greater than 40 states into claims that the corporate misled sufferers concerning the safety of its talc baby powder and different talc-based merchandise, the corporate mentioned in a press release to CNBC on Tuesday. 

Notably, the settlement doesn’t resolve the tens of thousands of consumer lawsuits, a few of that are slated to go to trial this 12 months, alleging that these talc-based merchandise precipitated most cancers.

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These circumstances have for many years precipitated monetary and public relations hassle for J&J, which contends that its now-discontinued talc merchandise are safe for customers.

J&J mentioned in an October securities filing that 42 states and Washington, D.C., had launched a joint investigation into its advertising and marketing of talc-based merchandise. The corporate pays $700 million to settle the probe, its CFO Joseph Wolk told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

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Final 12 months, J&J solely put aside about $400 million to resolve U.S. state client safety claims.

Erik Haas, J&J’s worldwide vice chairman of litigation, confirmed the settlement in a press release to CNBC. He didn’t present the fee quantity or additional particulars on the deal.

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“According to the plan we outlined final 12 months, the corporate continues to pursue a number of paths to realize a complete and remaining decision of the talc litigation,” Haas informed CNBC. “As was leaked final week, that progress consists of an settlement in precept that the Firm reached with a consortium of 43 State Attorneys Generals to resolve their talc claims.”

Bloomberg first reported concerning the settlement earlier this month, citing sources aware of the matter. 

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J&J, which reported fourth-quarter results on Tuesday, has twice tried to resolve the buyer talc circumstances by offloading these liabilities right into a subsidiary, LTL Administration, and having that unit file for Chapter 11 chapter safety. 

A New Jersey chapter decide in July rejected the second chapter try, stating that LTL Administration wasn’t in enough monetary misery. A U.S. appeals courtroom in April dismissed the primary chapter try for a similar motive. 

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As a part of the most recent failed bankruptcy attempt, J&J proposed to pay $8.9 billion to talc claimants.

J&J mentioned late final 12 months that it’s contemplating a 3rd chapter try because it tries to push ahead with that proposal.

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The corporate ended sales of its talc-based child powder globally final 12 months.

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