Civil trials can now resume scheduling after Johnson & Johnson’s second bankruptcy protection attempt for its LTL Management subsidiary was formally dismissed, attorneys with the Beasley Allen Law Firm announced.
The firm currently represents thousands of women who developed ovarian cancer after regularly using J&J’s asbestos-tainted talcum powder products.
“The women and their families who have been devastated by ovarian cancer have waited for more than two years as J&J sought bankruptcy protections in an effort to delay or deny accountability in the tort system,” said Beasley Allen’s Leigh O’Dell, co-chair of the talc plaintiffs steering committee in the multidistrict litigation in New Jersey federal court.
In July, Judge Michael Kaplan ruled that J&J’s second bankruptcy attempt would be dismissed because the talc lawsuits didn’t cause immediate “financial distress” despite the company earning nearly $100 billion in revenue.
“Tragically, hundreds of women have died during this delay and will never see their day in court,” said Beasley Allen principal Ted Meadows. “Now, our firm can aggressively begin seeking a resumption of the trials that have been on hold for far too long. We’re certain that other firms will do the same.”
In the second dismissed bankruptcy filing, J&J argued bankruptcy would provide a “fair and efficient” way to handle settlements, proposing $8.9 billion to resolve all outstanding North American talc claims and any potential future claims.
Lawyers trying these cases for almost a decade say that the settlement amount is nowhere near enough to compensate the vast amount of present and future victims, reimbursements to health insurance and state governments.
“We are prepared and eager to return to jury trials to present the evidence of J&J’s reprehensible conduct in covering up the dangers of its products,” Andy Birchfield, head of the Mass Torts Section at Beasley Allen. “We stand ready to engage in rational and productive negotiations with J&J to resolve these claims,” adds Mr. Birchfield. “As with the civil court trials, those efforts were halted while J&J’s latest bankruptcy scheme was being pursued, and we hope today’s action leads to a renewal of those discussions.”