In this photo illustration, Johnson & Johnson baby powder containers are on display April 5, 2023 in San Anselmo, CA.
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J&J spun off its subsidiary, LTL Management, in 2021 to assume talc-related debt and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
At a Thursday hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Trenton, N.J., Judge Michael Kaplan temporarily stayed the case, which runs through mid-June. The Wall Street Journal reported.
During the suspension, J&J will not have to face trial over other talc claims, but new lawsuits could be filed against the company, reports The Journal.
Kaplan said at the hearing that J&J had an “uphill battle” ahead, according to the paper.
The suspension will give J&J time to reach a permanent settlement with the plaintiffs in the Talc case.company recently proposed It’s an $8.9 million settlement against current and future talc-related claims, and plans to take the plan to bankruptcy court in mid-May.
In a statement, J&J called Kaplan’s decision “a victory for plaintiffs.”
The New Brunswick, N.J., company also said it believes petitioners overwhelmingly support the proposal.
J&J previously said more than 60,000 plaintiffs had already pledged to vote in favor of the plan.
“We are confident that plaintiffs will approve this plan if given a clear and complete explanation and the opportunity to make an informed choice,” said Eric Haas, worldwide vice president of litigation at J&J. said.
Kaplan’s decision is narrower than the decision LTL Management made after it first filed for Chapter 11 in 2021.
judge control In February 2022, J&J announced that it would be able to use the bankruptcy regime to settle Talc’s claims and avoid fighting thousands of individual lawsuits.
Kaplan essentially said that J&J “Texas Two Step” It allows companies to separate their valuable assets from their liabilities through so-called demerger mergers.
However, in January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that overturned that verdict. The Court of Appeals stated that neither LTL nor J&J were in “financial trouble”, so there was no legitimate need for bankruptcy protection.
In an ongoing legal battle, J&J has continued to deny claims that its talc products caused cancer.
Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk Said On Tuesday’s earnings call, he said it was “disappointing” for J&J to “have to throw dollars at frankly unsubstantiated scientific claims.”
The complaint alleges that J&J’s talc products were contaminated with the carcinogen asbestos, causing thousands of ovarian cancers.
Some lawsuits allege that J&J’s talc products caused multiple deaths.