Rep. Katie Porter calls out Johnson & Johnson over trying to split company during baby powder lawsuits

Rep. Katie Porter blasted Johnson & Johnson's attempt to seperate its company.
She stated that the company was trying to "shield their assets" from lawsuits.

Plaintiffs claim that the company knew for many decades that their baby powder contained asbestos.

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Rep. Katie Porter criticized Johnson & Johnson for separating the Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder parts from the company. The company is facing lawsuits from tens to thousands of women alleging that the Baby Powder and other talc products were contaminated by asbestos.

The congresswoman tweeted that Johnson & Johnson had filed in court to separate its Baby Powder from the rest. "Why?" J&J knew that asbestos was in some of its bottles, but it kept this secret for many decades. Tens of thousands are suing J&J for ovarian cancer. The company wants to protect its assets.

"J&J sold this powder for 60 years. Now that it has to cover these women's medical bills it wants the courts treat 'Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder’ as a separate entity," continued a California congresswoman.

Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) October 19, 2021

Reuters conducted a 2018 investigation and found that the baby powder contained small amounts of asbestos between the 1970s and 2000s. According to documents, the investigation revealed that the company had not disclosed this information.

The company repeatedly denied the claims.

Reuters reported last Wednesday that Johnson & Johnson cases cost the company approximately $1 billion to defend and that settlements and verdicts were an additional $3.5 million.

J&J was forced to pay $2 billion in June to women who claimed their products caused ovarian carcinoma.

Nearly 40,000 plaintiffs have sued Johnson & Johnson alleging that their talc products caused cancer and mesothelioma.

The plaintiffs claim Johnson & Johnson's baby product was aggressively marketed at Black women to maintain freshness and cleanliness. Insider's Aleeya Maio previously reported. The group claims that internal documents from 1968 show that powder contained talc that may have been contaminated by asbestos. They also claim that company officials knew of the 'carcinogenic nature' of talc and its effects on health.

According to Reuters, the company filed these claims in a company called LTL Management LLC. It filed for bankruptcy last week, October 14. This halted the cases. Currently, the lawsuits are halted while bankruptcy negotiations are underway. J&J stated that it would fund the company's legal expenses, but the amount was under review by Reuters.

According to Reuters, court paperwork filed by the company claimed that the case was forced by an "unrelenting assault by plaintiff trial bar, premised upon the false allegations that the... talc product contain asbestos and cause carcinoma," according to Reuters.

Johnson & Johnson's toxic baby powder, which has helped it become one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, is causing a lot of Americans to suffer from cancer or grieving the loss of a loved ones. According to ABC News, Linda Lipsen of the American Association for Justice stated in a statement that their conduct and bankruptcy scam is as shameful as it is brazen.

Insider reached out to the company but they did not respond immediately.