On October 14, Johnson & Johnson confirmed the fears of talc lawsuit plaintiffs as the company assigned its legal liabilities to a subsidiary and immediately filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in North Carolina. This move could stop talc litigation dead in its tracks as the tens of thousands of plaintiffs are forced to make their claims against a now-bankrupt subsidiary instead of the main company of Johnson & Johnson.
Through a legal process referred to by plaintiffs as the “Texas two-step,” Johnson & Johnson was able to create a subsidiary, LTL management, and divide all assets and liabilities between LTL and Johnson & Johnson however they choose. In this instance, Johnson & Johnson divested all current and future talc liability onto LTL Management before plunging the entire company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy judges in two states blocked plaintiff efforts to stop this move by Johnson & Johnson, which plaintiffs’ attorney Andy Birchfield told Law360 was, “another example of the wealthy and powerful using bankruptcy as a hiding place to protect their profits and avoid responsibility.”
If this bankruptcy procedure goes through, all of Johnson & Johnson’s responsibility for allegedly causing ovarian cancer in tens of thousands of women will die with LTL Management.
If you or a loved one have suffered from the use of talcum powder, then you may be able to recover costs through a lawsuit. In order to file with the large-scale MDLs already in progress, you will need a mass torts attorney.
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