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Johnson & Johnson sued by cancer victims over ‘fraudulent’ bankruptcies

Cancer survivors’ groups sued Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday, seeking to use the shell company’s bankruptcy to resolve tens of thousands of lawsuits alleging that the company’s talc products contain asbestos and cause cancer. The company accused the company of fraud due to its repeated efforts to do so.

Five plaintiffs have filed a proposed class action lawsuit seeking to represent more than 50,000 people who have filed lawsuits over J&J’s talc products. new jersey Federal court. They say J&J’s bankruptcy strategy has put billions of dollars out of the plaintiffs’ reach and “hindered, delayed, and defrauded these women and prevented them from having their day in court.” It is claimed that the purpose was to prevent the

“Johnson & Johnson is playing a dark game of chess with the financial and judicial systems of this country,” said Mike Papantonio, a lawyer for the cancer plaintiffs.

Johnson & Johnson offers $6.5 billion to settle U.S. talc ovarian cancer lawsuit

Eric Haas, J&J’s vice president for worldwide litigation, said the lawsuit was a “Hail Mary pass” by plaintiffs’ lawyers who don’t want their clients to vote on the company’s latest bankruptcy settlement.

“Why are they so desperate to block the vote?” Haas said. “Our focus is, and will remain, to reach a full, fair and final resolution. This lawsuitand allow the plaintiffs to speak for themselves.”

FILE PHOTO: Bottles of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder are displayed on a drugstore shelf in New York on October 15, 2015.

Most talc lawsuits are brought by women with ovarian cancer, but other lawsuits involve people with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer associated with asbestos exposure.

J&J maintains that its Baby Powder and other talc products are safe, do not contain asbestos and do not cause cancer.

J&J first used a corporate strategy called “Texas Two-Step” to transfer Talc’s debt to a new subsidiary, which filed for bankruptcy in 2021. Although the bankruptcy stopped the lawsuit against J&J from proceeding, J&J itself did not file for bankruptcy.

That lawsuit and a second similar attempt to settle the litigation failed after courts ruled that J&J and its subsidiaries were not in financial distress and therefore ineligible for bankruptcy. The company announced on May 1 that it plans to enter bankruptcy for a third time if it can get enough votes in support of a $6.48 billion talc settlement proposal.

Wednesday’s lawsuit seeks a ruling that the Texas two-tier transaction is fraudulent because it was done solely to protect J&J’s assets from talc lawsuits.

Subsequent transactions, including J&J’s spinoff of its consumer health business Kenview, were also fraudulent, according to the suit, which also seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

J&J said the unit’s planned third bankruptcy will be different because it has support from more than 75% of people with talc-related claims.

For the third time, the company has entered into separate settlements with law firms representing mesothelioma patients and with U.S. states that say the company failed to warn consumers about the dangers of talc products. Simplified bankruptcy procedures.

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The case against J&J was reopened after the second bankruptcy filing was dismissed. In recent court cases, J&J won an ovarian cancer case and was ordered to pay $45 million in a mesothelioma case.

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