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J&J set to pay $1 billion to settle talc-marketing probe

Johnson & Johnson has come to a tentative agreement to pay about $1 billion (US$700 million) for settling claims by over 40 US states that it wrongfully marketed its talc-based baby powder, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

The settlement would avert potential lawsuits alleging J&J hid any links between the talc in its powder and various cancers, the report said citing people familiar with the deal.

J&J and representatives for state attorneys general are still working out the specific terms of the deal but have agreed on the total amount, Bloomberg News reported.

J&J did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Courts have rejected two efforts by the company to use the bankruptcy process to limit its exposure to talc litigation.

Last year, J&J had set aside about US$400 million to resolve U.S. state consumer protection actions as part of its broader US$8.9 billion effort to settle claims that its Baby Powder and other talc products cause cancer.

Several states such as New Mexico and Mississippi had begun consumer protection actions against J&J before its unit LTL Management’s first bankruptcy filing in 2021 stopped those investigations from moving forward.

J&J has said its talc products are safe and do not cause cancer.

  • Reporting by Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri, of Reuters.

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