J&J hides behind bankruptcy amid baby lawsuits

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Senator Elizabeth Warren expressed outrage on Friday after pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson announced that its subsidiary, set up to handle tens of thousands of legal cases, alleging the company knew its talc-based products could cause the cancer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

As the members of the Sackler family, USA Gymnastics and other companies, said Massachusetts Democrat Johnson & Johnson is trying to “protect its assets and escape liability” as it faces lawsuits.

“Here we go again,” Warren tweeted. “Another giant corporation is abusing our bankruptcy system.”

In July, Warren and several other Democrats in the Senate and House introduced the Nondebtor Release Prohibition Act of 2021, which would eliminate the “loophole in bankruptcy law” that allows companies to compel victims to release their claims against them through non-debtor releases or non-consensual releases by third parties .

Johnson & Johnson’s newly formed subsidiary, LTL Management, is seeking Chapter 11 protection, which may prevent lawsuits from moving forward.

The company, which continues to claim its products are safe despite a 2018 Reuters survey who show the company knew that its products, including its widely used baby powder, contained carcinogenic asbestos. is fair to all parties.

“Another giant corporation is abusing our bankruptcy system.”

Andy Birchfield, an attorney for the Beasley Allen law firm who has been involved in litigation against Johnson & Johnson, called the case “another example of the rich and powerful using bankruptcy as a hiding place to protect their profits and avoid their responsibility ”.

“The entire nation, Congress and over 30,000 victims of J. & J .’s dangerous talc product are saying ‘no’ to this blatant and fraudulent abuse of the bankruptcy system,” Birchfield Recount the New York Times. “J. & J. Can run, but he can’t hide.”
Among the tens of thousands of lawsuits Johnson & Johnson faces, the National Council of Negro Women filed a complaint in July, accusing the company of decades of “knowingly misleading marketing to black women.”

The legal file cited internal Johnson & Johnson documents regarding a 2010 advertising campaign that targeted “curvy southern women. [ages] 18-49 biasing African Americans, ”and noted that the company provides free samples in beauty salons despite internal knowledge that talc can be contaminated with asbestos during the extraction process.

Lawsuits against the company allege that the use of its products has led customers to develop cancers, including mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.

The bankruptcy filing comes four months after a Missouri appeals court ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay more than $ 2 billion to women who said their ovarian cancers were caused by the products. talcum powder from the company.

Considering the company “had a market capitalization of $ 472 billion in August of this year,” said Joseph Slatterley, another lawyer currently working on a case against Johnson & Johnson, the bankruptcy filing was “laughable.”

“Their decision to file this amounts to corporate fraud at its worst,” Slatterley Recount Bloomberg. “There is no way this litigation poses a material threat to this company.”
While Chapter 11 bankruptcy “is here to help struggling businesses,” noted Warren in July after the introduction of the Non-Debtor Release Ban Act, “the rich in giant corporations have figured out how to play with the system.”

“It is wrong,” said the senator. “And this law would stop that.”


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