Johnson & Johnson runs for cover in the face of the waves of appeals and court sentences triggered by the accusations about the carcinogenic effects of its historic talc. It has created a new entity, a sort of “bad bank” dedicated to collecting the tens of thousands of legal cases brought to the United States against the American giant of the healthcare and consumer goods sector. And he immediately asked for a regime of “bankruptcy”, of receivership and protection from creditors, for its new creation. The result of the operation, according to observers, should be to limit the direct exposure of the entire group to potential, large damages.
The birth of LTL
The new entity was dubbed LTL Management and filed for receivership in the past few hours in a North Carolina court. The focus of the complaints is first and foremost the popular baby powder and other talc-containing products by J&J, which allegedly contained asbestos, a substance that has been linked to the development of tumors. Among the victims there are numerous women with ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
A special fund
At the moment, J&J has indicated that it has created a special two-billion-dollar fund to meet legal costs and compensation. And he added that he will then finance the new LTL on the basis of what is determined by the competent magistrate in the creditors protection procedure. LTL has also already received $ 350 million in the form of patent-related payments.
The company: a fair solution
The company explained the action in a statement signed by the legal manager Michel Ullman as motivated by the desire to find fair and certain solutions for all. “We are taking similar initiatives to give certainty to the parties involved in talc cases,” the executive said. “If we continue and be convinced of the safety of our products, we believe that solving the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible is in everyone’s interest,” the company and consumers.
The response of the victims
However, caustic judgments came from the lawyers of the potential victims. “They want to hide,” Any Birchfield of the Beasley Allen Law Firm said. And he added: “Another example of the rich and powerful using receivership to protect profits and avoid liability. The country, Congress and over thirty thousand victims of dangerous talc products say no to similar abuses of the system ”.