Johnson & Johnson agrees to pay USD700M to resolve talcum powder allegations


(MENAFN) Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay USD700 million to resolve allegations of deceptively marketing baby powder and body powder products containing harmful talcum powder. The settlement involves a bipartisan coalition of 42 state attorneys general, with New York receiving USD44 million from the agreement, announced New York Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday.

The company allegedly targeted beauty salons and churches in communities of color with advertisements promoting its talcum powder-containing products. These products, linked to severe health issues such as ovarian cancer and lung problems, were marketed as safe and pure, misleading consumers, according to the coalition's claims.

"Targeting communities with cosmetic products that contain dangerous substances is not just illegal, it is very cruel," said James. She emphasized that while monetary compensation cannot undo the damage caused by Johnson & Johnson's talc-laden products, the settlement ensures accountability and the removal of these dangerous products from New York shelves.

In addition to the financial settlement, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to permanently cease the manufacturing, sale, promotion, or distribution of any products containing talcum powder in the US, whether directly or through third parties.

Previously, in April 2023, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay USD8.9 billion over 25 years to settle claims that its talc products cause cancer. The company had announced in August 2022 that it would stop selling talc-based baby powder globally starting in 2023, amid nearly 40,000 lawsuits from consumers.

In a strategic move to manage the legal fallout, Johnson & Johnson assigned the talc-related claims to its subsidiary, LTL Management, in October 2021 and subsequently placed it into bankruptcy. A US judge ruled in February 2022 that the company could utilize the bankruptcy system to address the multibillion-dollar allegations.

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