Johnson & Johnson reported in a securities filing that it has set aside nearly $4 billion to cover talcum powder lawsuit settlements.
J&J may need the money to pay for a $2.1 billion jury verdict in favor of 22 women with ovarian cancer who used Johnson’s Baby Powder — but only if the company’s last-ditch appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court fails.
As of January 3, J&J said it was facing around 25,000 lawsuits involving Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talcum powder products. The number of lawsuits is still growing.
Most of the lawsuits have been centralized in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in New Jersey, but some lawsuits are also pending in plaintiff-friendly state courts like Missouri and California.
For example, it was a Missouri jury that slammed J&J with a record-setting $4.7 billion jury verdict in favor of 22 women with ovarian cancer. Last year, an appeals court sliced the verdict down to $2.1 billion, but refused to wipe out punitive damages.
J&J said it would stop selling all talc products in the U.S. and Canada in May 2020 due to declining sales and “misinformation” about safety.