Johnson & Johnson has proposed an $8.9 billion settlement for more than 60,000 people who claim that talcum powder products caused them to develop ovarian cancer or mesothelioma.
Under the proposal, a subsidiary company that Johnson & Johnson created to resolve the talc litigation will re-file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and seek court approval for the settlement.
The $8.9 billion settlement is a massive increase from a $2 billion settlement that the company offered in 2021. The amount would be payable to plaintiffs over the next 25 years.
Over the past few years, Johnson & Johnson has been hit with several multi-million dollar jury verdicts involving women with ovarian cancer who used talc products for feminine hygiene.
Many other lawsuits allege that asbestos contamination in talc products caused plaintiffs to develop mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer.
For example, in November 2020, the company was ordered to pay $120 million to a woman from New York who blamed baby powder on her mesothelioma.
Erik Haas, Johnson & Johnson’s worldwide vice president of litigation, said in a statement:
“Resolving these cases in the tort system would take decades and impose significant costs on LTL and the system, with most claimants never receiving any compensation.”
Johnson & Johnson denies any wrongdoing in the settlement, but the company stopped selling talc-based baby powder and other talcum powder products in 2020. Last year, the company announced plans to stop selling all talc products worldwide.