Illinois to get $29 million under Johnson & Johnson settlement

by Admin
Illinois to get $29 million under Johnson & Johnson settlement

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $700 million — including $29 million to Illinois — as part of a multistate settlement over allegations that the company misled consumers about the safety of some of its talc powder products, including baby powder and body powder.

Illinois is one of 42 states, plus Washington, D.C., that alleged Johnson & Johnson deceptively promoted and misled consumers, in advertisements, about the safety of some of its talc powder products. The states filed lawsuits Tuesday that were settled with simultaneous consent judgements, which must still be court approved, according to the New Jersey attorney general’s office.

Illinois’ lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court’s chancery division, alleged that Johnson & Johnson knew that its talc products were “sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and that women who used talc-based powders in the genital area had an increased risk of ovarian cancer. … Despite this knowledge, J&J continued marketing of Talc Powder Products as safe, pure and gentle, and as suitable for use in and on female genitals.”

Johnson & Johnson stopped selling baby and body powder products containing talc in recent years. Under the consent judgment, Johnson & Johnson would not be able to sell, manufacture, market, promote or distribute the products moving forward.

“Consumers rely on accurate information when making decisions about which products to purchase for their families,” Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in a news release Tuesday. “Any company — no matter how large — must be held accountable when laws protecting consumers are broken and their trust is violated.”

The company did not admit any wrongdoing or liability as part of the consent judgments. Johnson & Johnson previously confirmed to The Wall Street Journal in January that it had reached an agreement in principle on the settlement.

Johnson & Johnson “continues to pursue several paths to achieve a comprehensive and final resolution of the talc litigation,” Erik Haas, worldwide vice president of litigation for the company, said in a statement. “That progress includes the finalization of a previously announced agreement that the Company reached with a consortium of 43 State Attorneys Generals to resolve their talc claims.”

The settlement does not resolve many other lawsuits filed by private plaintiffs alleging that talc causes health issues, including mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, according to Raoul’s office.

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