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Montana to receive $3.5 million from baby powder settlement with Johnson & Johnson

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Montana to receive $3.5 million from baby powder settlement with Johnson & Johnson

Jun 14, 2024 | 1:15 pm ET
By Daily Montanan Staff
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Montana to receive $3.5 million from baby powder settlement with Johnson & Johnson
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Photo illustration by Getty Images.

Montana will receive more than $3.5 million in a multi-state settlement with Johnson & Johnson to resolve allegations the company manufactured, marketed and knowingly sold baby powder tainted with carcinogenic asbestos, the Attorney General’s Office announced this week.

Montana will receive $3,537,515 of the total $700,000,000 settlement, a news release said. Johnson & Johnson also agreed to cease the manufacturing, marketing, promotion, sale and distribution of all baby, body and cosmetic powder products and not to do so through a third party.

“Johnson & Johnson violated Montana’s consumer protection laws, but worse put the health and safety of consumers at risk. The company’s actions are unacceptable and I’m glad we could help to hold them accountable,” Attorney General Austin Knudsen said in a statement.

The settlement holds Johnson & Johnson accountable for manufacturing and selling talc body powder products and marketing them as safe for daily use by consumers, while knowing the asbestos contained in the products could cause cancer, said the news release. The company continued to manufacture, sell, and market the product for decades knowing it was harmful.

In his complaint against Johnson & Johnson, Knudsen states that the company’s actions violated Montana’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Acts when they misrepresented the qualities of their talc powder products and when they misrepresented their safety .

Montana is scheduled to begin receiving payments on July 30, 2024, and will receive payments through 2027, according to the Attorney General’s Office. The funds will be dispersed at the discretion of the attorney general and can be used for restitution and grants for the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Montana.