8 September 2023

The American pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson proposed, on Tuesday April 4, an agreement of 8.9 billion dollars (8.12 billion euros), to put an end to all the lawsuits against it in North America for the sale of talc accused of having caused cancer.

According to a statement from the group, the agreement, which must still be approved by a court, “will fairly and effectively resolve all complaints” accusing its talc of containing asbestos and causing ovarian cancer.

Johnson & Johnson says this agreement does not constitute an admission of guilt, and still assures that its talc is ” on “ — even though it pulled it from the North American market.

The agreement announced on Tuesday, whose payments made by a subsidiary may be spread over twenty-five years, must “close all present and future complaints about talc”the statement said.

More than 60,000 plaintiffs would have given their consent

The company specifies that more than 60,000 complainants have agreed to such a resolution of the dispute.

“The company continues to believe that these complaints are unfounded and lack scientific basis”, a “J&J” legal officer said in the statement. But this agreement will allow “the plaintiffs to be compensated within a reasonable time”.

In June 2021, after years of proceedings, Johnson & Johnson was finally ordered to pay $2.1 billion in damages.

A Missouri appeals court held that the group had “knowingly sold products containing asbestos to consumers”causing a strong “physical, mental and emotional anguish”.

While maintaining to be innocent, Johnson & Johnson announced in May 2020 that it was stopping selling this talc-based powder in the United States and Canada, countries where sales have declined due to changing habits and trends. distrust of the product.

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The World with AFP

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