Cancer Victims Uniting to Oppose Johnson & Johnson’s Latest Bankruptcy Ploy

Justice requires people be compensated for expenses, suffering, and lost wages, say attorneys  

TRENTON, N.J. – Attorneys representing tens of thousands of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma patients who are seeking damages from Johnson & Johnson say that any proposed deal that doesn’t adequately compensate the women for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages is a “non-starter.”      

“Ovarian cancer and mesothelioma victims should and will be outraged if J&J attempts another dodge into bankruptcy,” says Andy Birchfield, of the Beasley Allen Law Firm, who heads the Mass Torts section of the Beasley Allen law firm.  “J&J is seeking an extremely deep discount on justice and is not really offering anything other than another bankruptcy and more delay tactics.  An $8.9 billion amount is woefully inadequate to cover even the current ovarian cancer and mesothelioma claims, much less any future claims.”    

A proposed settlement announced by J&J as part of a second “Texas Two-Step” bankruptcy would seriously shortchange women who have incurred significant medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages because of J&J’s tainted and asbestos-laced talc products. Evidence uncovered during litigation revealed that the company knew that its products contained cancer-causing asbestos and concealed that information from consumers and government regulators.  In response to public opinion, J&J eventually agreed to stop selling talc-based baby powder in the United States. The product is still available internationally until the end of 2023.   

“This sham deal does not even pay for most victims’ medical bills,” says Jason Itkin, founding partner of the Houston-based personal injury law firm Arnold & Itkin LLP.  “Medical costs alone can range from $140,000 to more than $1.4 million per victim for ovarian cancer cases. The costs for mesothelioma are even higher.” 

In addition, the proposed deal does not replace wages lost while the victims are fighting cancer.  The trauma and disabling nature of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma inevitably lead to job loss and lost wages.  On average, a typical victim of talc loses more than $230,000 and often, more than $1 million.  

Click here to listen to some of these cancer victims discuss the litigation. 

J&J’s previous attempt to seek bankruptcy protection and block an estimated 50,000 claimants from seeking justice was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  The full appellate court affirmed a three-justice panel ruling that the bankruptcy was not filed in good faith and should be dismissed.   

A talc settlement out of bankruptcy would require approval by Chief Judge Michael Kaplan of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey and approval by 75% of all talc plaintiffs. “Johnson & Johnson doesn’t have the votes now and will never have the votes,” says Ms. O’Dell. “ J&J set aside $61.5 billion in its first bogus bankruptcy. This proposed deal represents a small fraction of that.  This low-ball deal does not even pay for medical bills or wages lost due to illness.”   

About Beasley Allen Law Firm  

Headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, Beasley Allen is comprised of more than 70 attorneys and 200 support staff. One of the largest plaintiff law firms in the country, Beasley Allen is a national leader in civil litigation, with verdicts and settlements in excess of $26 billion. Beasley Allen was one of only 12 firms in the nation named by Law360 to its Most Feared Plaintiffs Firms list in 2015, and the firm was included on the National Law Journal Midsize Law Firm Hot List and the NLJ Elite Trial Lawyers List in 2014. For more information, visit   


About Arnold & Itkin LLP Arnold & Itkin is a trial law firm based in Houston that exclusively represents plaintiffs. Founded in 2004, the firm has won cases against household names like Johnson & Johnson, BP, Shell, and numerous others. The total amount from their verdicts and settlements exceeds $10 billion, including a record-setting $222 million verdict last year for a woman who lost her husband in an industrial accident. The firm is also involved in various charitable causes in the Houston area, most notably The Monarch School & Institute, a school for learners with neurological differences. Learn more about Arnold & Itkin at 

Media Contact: 

Mike Androvett 


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