A staggering number of Americans have blamed Johnson & Johnson’s now infamous baby powder for triggering cancerous diseases. With nearly 50,000 lawsuits on the medical supply giant’s coattails, their decision to file for bankruptcy protection has many scratching their heads.
With many critics calling the move a blatant disregard of responsibility, J&J continues to defend both its products, as well as its methods for handling the impending suits.
A new subsidiary
For decades, J&J has sold millions of bottles of talc-based baby powder to Americans all around the country. Sale of these products ceased mid-2020 as the result of allegations of their products containing asbestos, a well-known, cancer-causing agent. Lawsuits started rolling in from cancer patients, as well as from loved ones of people who died from cancerous diseases. J&J formed a new subsidiary to house the liabilities related to these suits.
Now, J&J has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for this subsidiary which, if settled, could automatically resolve the pending lawsuits. Having already spent nearly $1 billion dollars on its defense, J&J denies its product’s role in causing cancer. Rather, the company claims that money-hungry plaintiffs and their legal teams continue to grasp at straws in forming unfounded claims.
A serious repercussion
For the tens of thousands of Americans who believe that J&J baby powder played a role in their cancer diagnoses, the news about the bankruptcy filing created anger and disbelief. Due to the seriousness of cancerous diseases, many patients and their families have faced lifelong challenges, substantial medical bills and in a number of cases, death.
For individuals who have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that J&J products did contribute to their medical diagnosis, a bankruptcy settlement would be a major loss. Victims of asbestos exposure deserve the right to petition for compensation for the damages they continue to deal with.
Source: Yahoo! News, “Johnson & Johnson looking to bankruptcy to resolve 40,000 baby powder cancer suits,” Aaron Katersky, Oct. 20, 2021