Johnson & Johnson Agrees to $700M Settlement Over Talc Products

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $700 million to resolve claims that it deceptively marketed and sold baby powder and body powder products containing hazardous talcum powder.

A bipartisan coalition of 42 attorneys general in the United States reached the settlement, with New York receiving $44 million, according to a statement by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday.

For years, the company targeted beauty salons and churches in communities of color with advertisements for its talcum powder-containing products. Talcum powder has been linked to severe health risks, including ovarian cancer and lung problems. The coalition alleged that Johnson & Johnson misled consumers about the safety and purity of its products in advertisements.

“Targeting communities with cosmetic products that contain dangerous substances is not just illegal; it is very cruel,” said James. “No amount of money can undo the pain caused by Johnson & Johnson’s talc-laced products, but today families can rest assured that the company is being held accountable for the harm it caused, and its dangerous products will no longer be on shelves in New York.”

As part of the agreement, Johnson & Johnson will pay $700 million to 42 states over three years. Additionally, the company has committed to permanently cease the manufacturing, selling, promoting, or distributing of any products containing talcum powder in the US.

In April 2023, Johnson & Johnson agreed to a $8.9 billion settlement over 25 years to address claims that its baby powder and other talc products cause cancer. The company had announced in August 2022 that it would stop selling its talc-based baby powder globally starting in 2023, amid nearly 40,000 lawsuits from consumers.

In October 2021, Johnson & Johnson transferred the talc claims to its subsidiary, LTL Management, which was subsequently placed into bankruptcy. In February 2022, a US judge ruled that the company could use the bankruptcy system to address the multibillion-dollar allegations.–News Desk