Johnson & Johnson has raised an objection in defense of its subsidiary LTL Management’s second bankruptcy proceeding. LTL had previously had its bankruptcy claim denied, but this time, Johnson & Johnson’s attorneys claim the case offers the largest settlement in history, according to Law360.
Tens of thousands of plaintiffs have filed claims against J&J, claiming that its talcum powder products had been contaminated with the carcinogen asbestos leading to a number of health concerns, including ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. As a result of settling over 1,000 talc personal injury lawsuits, losing nine trials and paying to defend itself in the litigation, J&J split off its talc liabilities into the subsidiary LTL Management and then forced LTL into bankruptcy.
The first bankruptcy for LTL was struck down by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals with the justification that LTL was not genuinely in financial distress and therefore did not need or deserve the protections of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Despite this, J&J put LTL back into bankruptcy proceedings almost immediately after the 3rd Circuit’s ruling. However, as opposed to its initial bankruptcy settlement offering of around $2 billion, J&J claims that the quadrupled settlement offer of $8.9 billion warrants additional consideration.
According to the corporation, the $8.9 billion settlement marks “the largest settlement in any mass tort bankruptcy case ever and, indeed, the largest settlement in any asbestos bankruptcy case ever, including cases where — unlike here — the debtor admitted that its products contain asbestos.”
In addition to the greatly increased settlement offer, advocates for LTL also claim that this new plan has the backing of over a dozen plaintiff firms representing a combined total of over 60,000 claimants.
Despite the arguments in the objection, LTL has not addressed the core argument raised by the 3rd Circuit: that LTL is not and was not in financial distress from the talc claimants. Furthermore, J&J continues to maintain the safety and effectiveness of its talc products despite pulling many of them from shelves.
If you or a loved one have been injured by contaminated talcum powder and want to seek justice, you will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. To see if your case qualifies, complete a free case review to begin your journey to justice.