U.S. judge temporarily blocks two state lawsuits over J&J talc marketing – Reuters

Share Article

Oct 5 (Reuters) – A U.S. bankruptcy judge has blocked New Mexico and Mississippi from pursuing lawsuits accusing Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) of misleading consumers about the safety of its talc products, such as its baby powder, for now.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan in Trenton, New Jersey on Tuesday said the litigation must be paused while an appellate court reviews whether J&J can use the bankruptcy of subsidiary LTL Management to resolve claims it is facing alleging that its talc products caused cancer. He said he would revisit allowing the states' lawsuits to proceed at a hearing in December.
J&J, which maintains its talc products are safe, created and spun off LTL in October, assigned its talc liabilities to the unit and placed it in bankruptcy a few days later.
That restructuring strategy, known as the "Texas two-step," paused about 38,000 individual lawsuits J&J was facing alleging that its baby powder and other talc-based products contain trace amounts of asbestos and caused mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.
"We disagree with Judge Kaplan's ruling and remain committed to ensuring that those companies that have knowingly harmed consumers for decades do not hide behind bankruptcy laws," New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a statement.
The office Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch and J&J did not respond to requests for comment.
LTL sued New Mexico and Mississippi in July after learning that the states intended to proceed with their lawsuits, despite the bankruptcy court's order in February pausing other talc litigation.
New Mexico and Mississippi had argued that the February order only blocked lawsuits by private plaintiffs and that Kaplan does not have the authority to block states from enforcing their consumer protection laws.
An ad hoc group of 41 states and the District of Columbia backed New Mexico and Mississippi in a written brief. Unlike with the private plaintiffs, allowing states to litigate would not risk opening the doors to copycat lawsuits that could disrupt LTL's bankruptcy restructuring, according to the states.
Attorneys representing private plaintiffs also supported the New Mexico and Mississippi lawsuits, saying they could provide clarity about the value of states' claims and aid in settlement negotiations.
The private plaintiffs have asked the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss LTL's bankruptcy, saying that LTL is a "concocted" corporation set up solely to stop them from getting their day in court.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Thomson Reuters
Brendan Pierson reports on product liability litigation and on all areas of health care law. He can be reached at [email protected]
Citigroup is expecting global equities to rise about 18% from now through the end of 2023, saying beaten down valuations from a relentless selloff this year may attract investors, although it warned of "considerable risks" of an economic slowdown.
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Access unmatched financial data, news and content in a highly-customised workflow experience on desktop, web and mobile.
Browse an unrivalled portfolio of real-time and historical market data and insights from worldwide sources and experts.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2022 Reuters. All rights reserved

source

You might also like

Surviving 2nd wave of corona
COVID-19

Surviving The 2nd Wave of Corona

‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort

@voguewellness