Millions of people worldwide use talc products on a daily basis. It is found in many commonly used items, such as deodorants, powdered makeup, and especially baby powder. Talc has recently been linked to cancer; many baby powder and talc powder manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson are facing thousands of lawsuits from people claiming a lifetime of use of their baby powder caused them to develop cancer. Many believe that because talc is a mineral mined near asbestos some contamination may occur. Asbestos has been well known to cause cancer.
Legal Scoops reports on how Johnson & Johnson may benefit from talc-supplier Imersys’s bankruptcy.
Because Johnson & Johnson and Imersys are linked together in legal agreements and insurance companies, the baby powder manufacturer is arguing that the baby powder lawsuits should be grouped in with the Imersys bankruptcy filing.
This strategy has worked before when Dow Corning had 100,000 breast implant lawsuits filed against them. The settlement plan allowed Dow Chemical, the owner of Dow Corning, to consolidate the lawsuits into one settlement plan of over $2.4 billion.
In their April 18th filing, Johnson & Johnson cited the Dow Corning decision.
The costs of the talc litigation led to the Imersys bankruptcy. At one point, Johnson & Johnson owned Imerys, but the company was sold in 1989.
A previous filing records that the two companies have $2.7 billion in combined insurance, which could be used to pay the settlements. However, one lawsuit was decided for the plaintiffs, awarding them in excess of $4 billion.
Consolidating all the cases could significantly lower the overall amount that Johnson & Johnson would have to pay to settle the lawsuits.
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