Johnson & Johnson is attempting to shield itself from tens of thousands of lawsuits over the company’s asbestos-tainted talcum powder products that have allegedly caused plaintiffs to develop ovarian cancer or mesothelioma. J&J recently announced that it was forming a new entity, LTL Management, which would hold all of J&J’s talc liabilities and then immediately declare bankruptcy.
The legality of this so-called “Texas two-step” maneuver will likely be heard in the courts. In the meantime, thousands of talc powder plaintiffs have been waiting in limbo, wondering if they will ever receive compensation for their injuries, allegedly caused by J&J’s talc products.
A bit of good news for talc plaintiffs arrived recently when a judge overseeing J&J’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan for its shell company, LTL, ruled that talc powder cases can proceed.
Shortly after forming LTL, J&J’s spinoff sought a temporary restraining order against plaintiffs, according to Mesothelioma.net. J&J’s new subsidiary also sought restraining orders against insurance companies. However, the judge denied the request because LTL failed to show evidence “to meet their burden for the relief that they were seeking.”
Plaintiff-interest groups are currently calling upon Congress to draft legislation that would ban the type of liability-shielding that J&J is seeking.
This is an ongoing story and will be updated as pertinent information comes in…