New Jersey state judge refused to block Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) so-called Texas Two-Step move that will prevent settlements for the plaintiffs diagnosed with cancer due to J&J's talcum powder products.
The plaintiffs allege that the company intends to conduct a fraudulent transaction. The judge overseeing the lawsuit said that the court cannot proceed before evaluating the fraudulent transaction claims made by the plaintiffs.
As per court documents, J&J would use the Lone Star State's "divisive merger" statute that will split the talc liabilities into a separate entity, helping the company to file for bankruptcy and keeping the productive assets in a different entity.
The plaintiffs even accused that the company would pay comparatively less amount if allowed with bankruptcy option. The brief even claimed that the thousands of women who used talc products would continue to suffer and die without getting justice because of the move.
The court's ruling stated that the narrative provided by the plaintiff's lawyers is baseless without any legal support, and it is a move to compel J&J to settle the plaintiffs' claims. J&J continues to defend its products by stating them as safe for use.
Earlier, an Illinois jury granted a talcum trial verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson by rejecting the allegations of the family members of the woman who died of ovarian cancer.
As per the court documents, the family members of the woman sought $50 million compensation by alleging that J&J's baby powder and Shower to Shower products are dangerous and resulted in ovarian cancer for the woman.
The 69-year-old woman died in September 2016, eighteen months after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
A spokesperson for J&J said in a statement that the verdict displayed careful consideration of the science and facts presented by the attorneys. He even added that the company deeply sympathizes with those who are suffering from cancer and seek answers for the same.
The plaintiff's attorney stated that there is strong evidence to conclude that genital talc leads to ovarian cancer, and the decision will not prevent them from seeking justice for several other women who are victims of the disease because of J&J's negligence and greed.
The verdict came in favor of J&J after a three-week trial in St. Clair County, Illinois.
Earlier, an executive of J&J failed to appear before the court as a witness for cross-examination in a talcum lawsuit. J&J recalled 33,000 bottles of talc-based powder in 2019, and in May 2020, discontinued its sale throughout the U.S.
J&J's talc products are one of the most popular cosmetic products throughout the country. For the past 25 years, over 12,00 women and their families have filed lawsuits against J&J alleging that the company's baby powder causes ovarian cancer.
Asbestos in talcum powder is the major cause of cancer as it is harmful to human health and can cause lifelong ailments. A study even concluded the direct linkage of talc powder to ovarian cancer.
The company is even set to settle $26 billion in the opioid MDL as ordered by the federal judge. The company will pay the settlement amount with three major pharmaceutical distributors, Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen.