House subcommittee presses Johnson & Johnson on plan to offload baby powder liabilities

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), chairman of the House subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, on Wednesday asked Johnson & Johnson for information regarding its reported plan to offload its liabilities from the numerous baby powder lawsuits through a bankruptcy plan.

Reuters first reported earlier this month that J&J was considering a plan to offload liabilities stemming from its talcum-based baby powders by creating a new business and then seeking bankruptcy protection. This would result in lower payouts to victims whose cases have not already been settled.

When the story was reported, J&J said it had not yet decided on what course of action it would take regarding the baby powder litigation.

Krishnamoorthi wrote in his letter that the subcommittee is seeking to find out how this potential plan would affect the victims who claim that J&J’s baby powder negatively impacted their health, according to Reuters. The Illinois congressman requested that the multinational corporation turn over documents detailing how much funding would be provided to the new company that J&J would create.

Reuters notes that the subcommittee previously held a hearing in 2019 on carcinogens found in baby powder. Many victims have come forward claiming that substances in the company’s baby powder such as asbestos caused ovarian cancers and mesothelioma.

A jury ruled in 2018 that J&J should pay $4.7 billion to 22 women and their families who claim its product caused ovarian cancer.

Just this week, a Black women’s organization, the National Council of Negro Women, filed a lawsuit with noted civil rights attorney Ben Crump, accusing J&J of specifically targeting Black women despite knowing of the concerns surrounding a possible link to its baby powder and cancer.

J&J has so far denied that any connection exists between its talcum-based baby powder and cancer.

The Hill has reached out to Krishnamoorthi’s office and J&J for comment.

Tags Baby powder Johnson & Johnson Raja Krishnamoorthi Raja Krishnamoorthi Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Talc
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