Victims throughout the country are taking steps to hold Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J’s) accountable for the damage done by their baby powder products. These victims have evidence to support allegations the company’s product caused various illnesses, including ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
In response to these allegations, the health product creating mega-giant corporation tried to shift all related business into a new entity and then put that entity into bankruptcy.
The company argued this move was intended to streamline lawsuits and result in a more efficient process and quicker payouts, but victims voiced concern that J&J’s was just hiding behind bankruptcy to avoid full financial responsibility. Afterall, if successful the new entity and bankruptcy proceeding would essentially work together as a shield to protect the victims from going directly after J&J’s.
How is this possible?
The company is using a state law out of Texas that allows companies to split into two — one taking on legal liability and the other continuing to function as if nothing happened. The move is referred to as the “Texas Two-Step.”
Is Johnson & Johnson’s going to be able to hide behind bankruptcy?
The question is making its way through the court system. As of this writing, the lower courts agreed with J&J’s. That decision is now on appeal. Victims are fighting back, and the issue is under review by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
What does this mean for victims?
Victims should still seek compensation to help cover the expenses that come with a cancer or mesothelioma diagnosis as the result of exposure to J&J’s baby powder. If the Third Circuit agrees with the victims, mass tort cases will move forward, and victims are more likely to get a reasonable payout. A holding in favor of J&J could change the way victims hold huge corporations accountable in similar situations.
Either way the courts go on this issue, cases are currently ongoing and victims should take action to hold J&J responsible for their negligence.