Multiple law firms representing mesothelioma and ovarian cancer patients have filed an emergency motion to prevent Johnson & Johnson from pursuing a bankruptcy filing strategy that could impact thousands of victims. The move by the attorneys was prompted by fears that such a filing would shield the consumer giant from liability for the harms suffered by those exposed to asbestos in its talc powder products.
Mesothelioma Victims Are Concerned About A “Texas Two-Step”
The legal action taken by mesothelioma and ovarian cancer plaintiffs’ attorneys followed veiled threats that the company would pursue a legal move known as a “Texas Two Step.” The move would create a new subsidiary specifically for Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder liabilities and then the subsidiary would file for bankruptcy protection. This could bring all asbestos litigation to a halt, or force tens of thousands of victims to accept significantly less in compensation than they would otherwise receive.
There have already been several successful claims against Johnson & Johnson that have yielded multi-million-dollar awards, and thousands of other mesothelioma and ovarian cancer victims have lawsuits pending against the company. Their suits blame asbestos-contaminated talc in J & J’s iconic baby powder product for their illnesses.
Emergency Petition Filed Ahead of Scheduled Trial
The emergency petition for a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction against the bankruptcy scheme was filed on behalf of three ovarian cancer victims whose trial is scheduled to begin on September 7th. That trial is due to be heard by the same judge who heard a 2018 case that saw 20 victims share $2.1 billion in compensation. The company is facing trials every month over the next 12 months, including a multidistrict litigation claim. It is estimated that the 34,000 claims pending total approximately $25 billion in current and future liabilities for the $500 billion company, but a bankruptcy filing could significantly impact what victims could receive.
If you or someone you love has been sickened by exposure to asbestos, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 to learn more.