A bottle of Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder is seen in a photo illustration taken in New York, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Illustration

Judge to rule on request to halt Johnson & Johnson talc lawsuits

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Nov 10 (Reuters) – A U.S. decide is anticipated to announce on Wednesday whether or not Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) should proceed defending towards tens of 1000’s of claims that its child powder and different talc-containing merchandise triggered mesothelioma and ovarian most cancers.

The pharmaceutical large is banking on a ruling that will halt ongoing litigation as a part of its authorized technique of shifting its talc liabilities onto a newly-created subsidiary, and putting that entity into chapter 11.

J&J, which has maintained that its talc merchandise are secure, has already spent practically $1 billion defending itself in talc-related lawsuits. Settlements and verdicts have value it about $3.5 billion extra, though it has prevailed in a number of the instances.

U.S. Chapter Judge Craig Whitley is anticipated to rule in a listening to of the Chapter 11 chapter case of the brand new J&J entity, LTL Administration LLC, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

LTL has requested Whitley to prolong safety towards litigation that’s usually given to bankrupt entities to the non-bankrupt dad or mum firm.

LTL has argued that permitting litigation to proceed towards J&J will defeat the aim of the chapter, which might permit the corporate to consolidate and resolve all the roughly 38,000 talc-related claims.

A few of the plaintiffs suing J&J, nevertheless, argue that it shouldn’t be in a position to reap the advantages of chapter safety with out submitting for chapter itself and that halting litigation will forestall them from having their day in court docket. One main case that has been pending for 5 years is on the verge of trial.

A J&J spokesperson didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Whitley mentioned final week that he would doubtless concern a ruling on LTL’s request to pause the litigation towards J&J on the finish of a court docket listening to on a separate however associated matter: whether or not he’ll maintain the case in his court docket or switch it elsewhere.

A authorities chapter watchdog and people who find themselves suing J&J over its talc merchandise have moved to ship the case to New Jersey, the place J&J is predicated and the place a big chunk of the talc litigation is consolidated in a federal court docket.

Reporting by Maria Chutchian, Modifying by Alexia Garamfalvi and Aurora Ellis

Maria Chutchian

Maria Chutchian experiences on company bankruptcies and restructurings. She will be reached at [email protected]