Money & The Economy

Johnson & Johnson Shells Out Nearly $9 Billion To Settle Cancer Allegations

Johnson & Johnson agreed to dole out $8.9 billion to numerous people who alleged the pharmaceutical giant’s talcum powder products led to cancer on Tuesday, according to a proposal released in filing Tuesday.

The plaintiffs include the relatives of people who perished from ovarian cancer and mesothelioma allegedly due to Johnson & Johnson products; if the settlement is approved, it will put an end to their long legal saga, according to The New York Times. Under Johnson & Johnson’s proposed settlement, the giant would pay the nearly $9 billion over the next 25 years to the plaintiffs.

A team of lawyers representing the almost-70,000 plaintiffs characterized this deal as a huge win in the legal battle that has spanned over a decade, according to the NYT.

While baby powder is not one of Johnson & Johnson’s highest-selling products, it is one of the giant’s most recognizable, according to the NYT. Many plaintiffs claimed it was contaminated with asbestos.

“Even though $8.9 billion sounds like a lot of money, when you spread it out it comes out to not very much at all for the people who suffered,” said lawyer Jason Itkin, whose firm is handling 10,000 cases related to this matter, according to the NYT.

Johnson & Johnson was aware there was asbestos in their talc products, according to Reuters. The company did not inform the FDA that at least three tests by three separate labs between 1972 and 1975 discovered the carcinogen, including at “rather high” levels in one case.

“The Company continues to believe that these claims are specious and lack scientific merit,” said Erik Haas, Johnson & Johnson’s worldwide vice president of litigation, in a press release on Tuesday.

The giant recalled five of its sunscreen products after low levels of the cancer-causing chemical Benzene were discovered in some samples, the company announced in 2021.

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One Comment

  1. If everyone got an equal share (but they wont) the payout would be about $6000 per year in exchange for decades of pain, suffering, surgery and chemo. No, I say fight on ladies!

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