Johnson & Johnson has tentatively agreed to pay about $700 million to resolve an investigation by more than 40 US states into claims that it wrongfully marketed its talc-based baby powder by not warning about possible health risks, according to people familiar with the deal.
The settlement would avert potential lawsuits alleging that J&J hid any links between the talc in its powder and various cancers, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the pact isn’t yet public. They said J&J and representatives for state attorneys general are still hammering out the specific terms of the accord but have reached an agreement on the approximate total amount.
The settlement is part of J&J’s strategy to corral a growing number of suits accusing it of concealing baby powder’s health risks after two failed attempts to use the bankruptcy courts to impose a settlement on former users. The decade-long litigation, plus the prospect of potential future cancer suits, has limited J&J’s stock price, analysts have said.
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