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Johnson & Johnson to pay $6.5 billion to women who claim its talcum powder causes ovarian CANCERS

Johnson and Johnson is set to make one of the largest payouts in history following allegations that its talcum powder causes ovarian cancer.

Under the proposed settlement, the pharmaceutical giant would pay a total of nearly $6.5 billion to the tens of thousands of people who have filed lawsuits against the company.

J&J says the offer has “significant support” among those seeking payments and expects it to be approved.

The company has already paid billions for its now-discontinued talcum powder, including $700 million to states for misleading advertising and more than $2.12 billion to 22 women who blamed the powder for their cancer. ovaries.

J&J, based in New Jersey, has admitted no wrongdoing and continues to insist that its talc is safe, contains no asbestos and has not caused cancer.

Johnson & Johnson to pay .5 billion to women who claim its talcum powder causes ovarian CANCERS

J&J is set to pay nearly $6.5 billion to settle the more than 54,000 lawsuits it faces over allegations that its talcum powder triggered ovarian cancer.

Lora Stahl, 56, of Nebraska, pictured here with her husband Herb and grandson, is one of more than 54,000 people claiming J&J baby powder gave them cancer.  She previously suffered from ovarian cancer

Lora Stahl, 56, of Nebraska, pictured here with her husband Herb and grandson, is one of more than 54,000 people claiming J&J baby powder gave them cancer. She previously suffered from ovarian cancer

The deal would see a subsidiary of J&J, called LTL Management, file for bankruptcy to settle all current and future claims.

Bankruptcy is a legal device used by businesses or individuals to declare that they cannot repay their debts and allows them to reach a settlement with those to whom they owe money.

The 54,000 people suing J&J will now have three months to vote on the deal, with 75% needing to vote in favor for it to work.

This is the third time J&J has proposed a bankruptcy deal, although the previous two were rejected by judges – although those did not involve the vote of those suing the company.

Erik Haas, J&J’s global vice president of litigation, told CNBC: “We strongly believe that this plan is in the best interests of the plaintiffs and should receive favorable and immediate confirmation from the bankruptcy court.”

If passed, it will be one of the largest in history – almost equal to the $6 billion paid by the Sackler family for the opioid crisis and well above the $3 billion paid by GSK in 2012 to resolve allegations that it failed to report safety data. .

Many complaints come from women who say they developed ovarian cancer from the powder, or from people diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer around the heart that can be caused by inhaling toxic asbestos.

Among them is Lora Stahl, 56, of Nebraska, who says she had to have a hysterectomy and was deprived of the chance to expand her family after baby powder caused a cancerous tumor to form in her her ovaries.

She was diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer at the age of 35, with doctors having to remove her uterus, cervix and ovaries to stop the spread of the disease.

Speaking to DailyMail.com, she said: “I was still of childbearing age, my husband and I were still young. I was lying there, and it hit me: “Oh, my God, I can’t have any more kids. We’re done having a family, we have no choice. This is no longer my choice.”‘

Another plaintiff is Emory Valadez, 24, of California, who said the company’s baby powder caused him to develop a rare and deadly cancer.

J&J says the settlement is much better for the plaintiffs than a drawn-out trial.

Hass added: “As this track record shows, most plaintiffs have not recovered, and are never expected to recover anything at trial.

“At the rate at which the cases have been decided, it would take decades to try the remaining cases, meaning most of the plaintiffs will never see their day in court.”

But the action resulted in large payouts, including $2 billion awarded to 22 women who claimed talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer.

In another case settled last week, J&J agreed to pay $45 million to the family of an Illinois woman who said talcum powder caused her fatal cancer.

Theresa Garcia, a mother of six and grandmother, died in 2020 after developing mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, and had previously used talcum powder.

Talcum powder was popular for decades in the United States for its ability to keep skin dry and prevent rashes, used on both adults and babies.

But the powder, made from a natural mineral, may also contain small amounts of asbestos according to some studies – a carcinogen known to cause cancer if repeatedly inhaled.

Once asbestos fibers enter the body, they can become permanently lodged in soft tissues, causing severe cellular damage and inflammation, which can lead to cancer.

In March of this year, J&J got another chance to challenge the scientific evidence linking talc to ovarian cancer in centralized litigation in New Jersey federal court.

The judge overseeing the cases said recent changes in the law and new scientific evidence required new review, and he asked J&J to present new scientific arguments by the end of July.

J&J said it would continue to defend itself against the lawsuits while trying to gather votes on the settlement.

The company said it has prevailed in 95 percent of ovarian cases adjudicated to date, including all ovarian cases adjudicated over the past six years.

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