Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the pharmaceutical giant, has agreed to pay over $100 million to resolve about 1,000 lawsuits that allege its Baby Powder and other talcum powder products for causing cancer.
The settlement news, published by Bloomberg News, states that the deal will resolve claims brought by at least three law firms, which include Simmons Hanly Conroy, Simon Greenstone Panatier PC, and the Lanier Law Firm.
This is the first major settlement announced by J&J since the MDL was formed four years back, which now comprises of nearly 20,000 Baby Powder lawsuits and Shower-to-Shower lawsuits. The lawsuits are mostly filed by women who claim that they were exposed to talc and asbestos particles present in J&J's popular products, which resulted in ovarian cancer and other injuries.
Kim Montagnino, a J&J spokeswoman, maintained in an email that the company's talc products are safe and are backed with “scientific evidence” to support its position. She further stated that the company chose to settle the lawsuits but did not admit liability and will not change its take on the safety of the products.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson, overseeing the talcum powder litigation, rejected J&J's request to appoint court-approved experts to assist jurors in upcoming bellwether trials, stating that the move would interfere with the independent assessment of the evidence by the jurors. The rejection cleared the way for individual bellwether trials to go before the juries in the federal court system.
In July, Bloomberg Intelligence suggested that to resolve the entire litigation J&J would have to pay as much as $10 billion.