Following multiple losses in court and facing thousands of product liability claims from mesothelioma and ovarian cancer victims, consumer giant Johnson & Johnson has used a controversial legal maneuver to limit its liabilities. The company has created a new subsidiary responsible for all future asbestos claims, and then filed for bankruptcy protection on its behalf in order to limit the amount that it will have to pay out. Consumer advocates are decrying the move.
New J & J Subsidiary Will Assume All Mesothelioma and Ovarian Cancer Claims
With tens of thousands of mesothelioma and ovarian cancer claims pending against it, Johnson & Johnson announced the establishment of a firm called LTL. The new division then immediately filed for bankruptcy in federal court. According to experts, the move effectively limits the damages that victims will be paid and creates space between the lawsuits and the parent company. Despite Johnson & Johnson being one of the most asset-rich organizations in the world, victims will not be able to sue them for compensation for damages suffered as a result of their negligence.
The move sparked outrage from lawmakers. Representative Katie Porter, D-California, tweeted, “J&J knew asbestos laced some bottles but kept it a secret for decades. Tens of thousands of women with ovarian cancer are suing and the company wants to shield its assets.” Her words were echoed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, who tweeted, “Another giant corporation is abusing our bankruptcy system to shield its assets and evade liability for the harm it has caused people across the country.”
Johnson & Johnson Knew Asbestos Was in Talc and Could Cause Mesothelioma
According to reports published by both the New York Times and Reuters, Johnson & Johnson company executives were aware of the mesothelioma and ovarian cancer risks posed by asbestos contamination in their talc but chose not to act to protect consumers. In response to the company’s maneuver, the American Association for Justice released a statement saying in part, “There are countless Americans suffering from cancer, or mourning the death of a loved one, because of the toxic baby powder that Johnson & Johnson put on the market. Their conduct and now bankruptcy gimmick is as despicable as it is brazen.” The group is calling for legislation to prevent other companies from using this type of legal maneuver in the future.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can make you aware of countless resources available to you. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608FREE Mesothelioma Packet