baby powder

NJ among states seeking Supreme Court review of controversial bankruptcy tactic

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A bipartisan group of 25 attorneys general, including New Jersey’s Matthew Platkin, is urging the United States Supreme Court to stop well-off companies from using bankrupt shell companies to resolve lawsuits.

In a Jan. 22 amicus brief, the AGs asks for the reversal of a June 2023 ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed pulp-and-paper maker Georgia-Pacific to avoid litigating tens of thousands of asbestos lawsuits while the company’s subsidiary, Bestwall, remains in bankruptcy.

The 2-1 decision upheld a key element of a controversial legal tactic known as the Texas two-step, in which a corporation spins off liabilities into a newly created subsidiary and then files that unit for bankruptcy.

Georgia-Pacific, one of the world’s largest manufacturing firms, pioneered the strategy in 2017, which paused 64,000 lawsuits claiming the company’s plaster construction products contained cancer-causing asbestos.

In the brief, the AGs contend that Georgia-Pacific is abusing the U.S. bankruptcy system, using it to shield assets from people who have been harmed by preventing lawsuits from moving forward without subjecting the entire company to bankruptcy.

“Wealthy companies that engage in wrongdoing should not be able to get off the hook by cheating the

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J&J Jury’s Cancer Verdict Ramps Up Pressure on Bankruptcy Vote

An $18.8 million jury verdict in favor of a man who said Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused his cancer poses a potential setback for the company’s efforts to rally support behind its talc unit’s bankruptcy settlement.

The July 18 verdict is the first in nearly two years to consider the health risks of J&J’s baby powder. It bolsters plaintiffs’ attorneys who have argued during the bankruptcy of J&J’s affiliate, LTL Management LLC, that the talc-based product causes cancer.

By awarding Anthony Hernandez Valadez millions, the California jury has thrown J&J a curveball and potentially influenced claimants to vote against the proposed $8.9 billion settlement designed to resolve tens of thousands of talc claims in LTL’s bankruptcy. It could also place pressure on the judge overseeing the case by inspiring others to try to pursue their claims in front of a jury.

“I think that this verdict supports our view that this is not an adequate proposal and I think any plaintiff should consider this as part of their decision about what they tell their lawyers,” said Chris Tisi, an attorney with Levin Papantonio Rafferty who represents talc claimants.

The verdict is one of multiple large jury verdicts awarded over

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Best Of: Inside Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy two-step

This is an audio transcript of the Behind the Money podcast episode:Best Of: Inside Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy two-step’

Michela Tindera
Hey, everyone. Just to note that we’re taking a break this week. So instead, today we’re resharing one of our episodes. Now be sure to stick around till the end. We’ll have an update on what’s happened since this episode first came out last June. So let’s get on to the show.

On May 5th 2020, a couple named Val and Holly Johnson officially make a decision that has been stewing for months. They decide to file a lawsuit against one of the world’s largest healthcare companies, Johnson & Johnson. In their lawsuit, they say that Johnson & Johnson sold them talc-based baby powder that had asbestos in it — a known carcinogen.

Val Johnson
They conspired. This was not an accident that they did this.

Michela Tindera
That’s Val. He’s 61 years old, and he and his wife, Holly, say that Val’s use of Johnson’s baby powder led to his diagnosis of mesothelioma. He found out that he had this rare and deadly form of cancer just months earlier.

Val Johnson
If they would have taken

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J&J’s first attempt to escape cancer claims with bankruptcy failed. Now it’s trying again

Johnson & Johnson’s first attempt at using bankruptcy to escape claims that its popular baby powder caused cancer was an expensive gamble that drew public scorn and ended in failure.

But on Tuesday, just hours after a judge officially ended that first effort, J&J tried the gambit again. The company put the same subsidiary that had been tossed out of bankruptcy court back into Chapter 11, this time with a plan to pay $8.9 billion to resolve the decades-old cancer claims. The move has already drawn the ire of some victim lawyers and raised eyebrows among legal scholars, who are asking why this time will be any different.

“They are taking a massive gamble here,” said Lindsey Simon, a University of Georgia law professor who has studied how corporations use the U.S. bankruptcy rules to resolve mass-tort suits. “This Chapter 11 case could very well go the same way as the first one did — kicked out of court.”

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J&J faces two major hurdles: it must survive any new legal challenge from opponents who are likely to argue the second case is just as flawed as the first,

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Judge reports threats, harassment over J&J talc bankruptcy

A bottle of Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Illustration

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  • Judge revealed the harassment at a hearing on a J&J subsidiary’s effort to block two states’ consumer protection lawsuits

(Reuters) – A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Wednesday said he has received threats related to the bankruptcy of a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary he is overseeing, with some messages suggesting that the case is an effort to “cover up” harms allegedly caused by J&J’s talc products.

Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan in Trenton, New Jersey said at a hearing that he and his staff have been getting angry and menacing messages through phone calls, voicemails, emails and social media posts since his February decision not to dismiss the bankruptcy case of LTL Management LLC.

J&J created the subsidiary in October, assigned its talc liabilities to it and put it in bankruptcy a few days later, in an attempt to resolve approximately 38,000 lawsuits alleging that its Baby Powder and other talc products caused mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.

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J&J, which has denied the allegations and said that its products

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