baby powder

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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Plaintiffs’ attorney says 3M’s $1B fund to resolve earplug litigation inadequate

3M plans to resolve an epic legal battle over its military earplugs through bankruptcy court, but the company will face fierce opposition from plaintiffs.

In one of the largest U.S. mass tort cases ever, about 230,000 U.S. military members and veterans allege that Combat Arms earplugs — made by 3M subsidiary Aearo Technologies — were faulty, damaging their hearing.

Plaintiffs have already scored several victories in cases that have gone to trial, netting almost $300 million from jury verdicts. 3M announced Tuesday that it put its Aearo subsidiary into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will set up a $1 billion trust fund to pay all claims.

“It’s really about us — 3M — stepping up to do right by veterans,” 3M CEO Mike Roman told stock analysts in a conference call Tuesday. “We believe litigating cases individually can take years if not decades.”

3M’s move was blasted by plaintiffs’ attorneys, who said 3M’s $1 billion settlement plan is “woefully” underfunded.

“3M’s bankruptcy maneuver is further proof that they value their profits and stock price more than the well-being of veterans who fought and served our country,” lead counsel Bryan Aylstock said in a statement. “We will challenge this bankruptcy filing

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