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Maryland could receive nearly $15 million from Johnson & Johnson settlement

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Maryland could receive nearly $15 million from Johnson & Johnson settlement

Jun 11, 2024 | 8:10 pm ET
By William J. Ford
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Maryland could receive nearly $15 million from Johnson & Johnson settlement
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Maryland is expected to receive nearly $15 million as part of a $700 million multistate settlement with Johnson & Johnson for deceptive practices to promote its talc-based baby powder and shower products that allegedly caused cancer.

Attorney General Anthony Brown (D), along with 42 other attorneys general, announced the settlement Tuesday, pending final court approval.

“Many Marylanders who, for decades, trusted that the personal care products they were using were safe and pure, are now suffering horrific consequences. It is inexcusable,” Brown said in a statement. “We will hold companies who jeopardize public health by promoting and selling products that may contain harmful, cancer-causing substances accountable for their actions.”

If approved, the settlement filed in Baltimore City District Court calls for four payments, beginning this July 30 and continuing for the next three years, to 42 states and the District of Columbia. The total for all states over the four years would be $700 million: Maryland’s share would be four annual payments outlines four payments of more than $3.7 million.

According to a complaint filed by the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and its subsidiaries misrepresented, misled and failed to disclose risks associated with the use of talc products. The complaint charged that the company knew its talc powder products were sometimes tainted with asbestos, a carcinogen, and that women who used them in the genital area had an increased risk of ovarian cancer compared to those women who do not.

“In marketing its Talc Powder Products, J&J and its subsidiaries failed to disclose the presence of asbestos in their Talc Powder Products and asbestos’ link to cancer,” according to the complaint.

As part of the settlement, Johnson & Johnson will not manufacture baby powder or cosmetic products that contain talcum powder in the U.S., will not market, promote, sell, or distribute any of those products nationwide directly or through a third party, and will not sell or distribute any of those products.

Last month, Johnson & Johnson proposed a $6.4 billion settlement to resolve much of the other litigation pending against it through a third-party bankruptcy filing.

The amount would be paid over 25 years, “which is a far better recovery than the claimants stand to recover at trial,” according to a company statement last month.