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Johnson & Johnson will pay more than $100million to settle more than 1,000 lawsuits that claim its baby powder caused cancer

Johnson & Johnson
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Johnson & Johnson

Highlights

  • Johnson & Johnson will pay more than $100million to settle over 1,000 lawsuits that allege their talc-based baby powder caused cancer, a new report says
  • The company faces more than 19,000 lawsuits alleging the powder caused cancer due to contamination with asbestos
  • The company maintains its talc is safe even though it has replaced such products with a cornstarch version in the US and Canada
  • A 2018 Reuters report found the company knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its talc, with early mentions found in documents from 1957 and 1958

Johnson & Johnson will pay more than $100million to settle over 1,000 lawsuits that allege the company's talc-based baby powder caused cancer.

The company faces more than 19,000 lawsuits from consumers and suvivors who claim the company's talc products caused cancer due to contamination with asbestos, a known carcinogen.

However, the company maintains its talc is safe even though it has replaced such products with a cornstarch version in the US and Canada.

Johnson & Johnson's payout is the first set of major settlements in four years of litigation, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the pacts

The settlement was struck with several law firms and marks the first time the company has settled the bulk of plaintiffs lawyer's cases in the baby powder suits rather than settle individual suits on the eve or during trial.

The deals come seven months since the company last faced a jury reviewing evidence about the cancer risk of its signature talc product.

The drugmaker declined to comment on the Bloomberg report, but reiterated its talc is safe and does not contain asbestos.

'In certain circumstances, we do choose to settle lawsuits, which is done without an admission of liability and in no way changes our position regarding the safety of our products,' the company said in a statement.

In May, Johnson & Johnson said it would stop selling its talc in the United States and Canada after demand had fallen in the wake of what it called 'misinformation' about the product's safety amid a barrage of legal challenges.

The company's baby powder currently makes up about 0.5 precent of the company's US consumer health business.

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