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Attorney General Ellison reaches $700 million nationwide settlement against Johnson & Johnson

J&J will pay Minnesota more than $10 million and stop manufacturing and selling talc products

June 11, 2024 (SAINT PAUL) – Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today that his Office and 42 other attorneys general have reached a $700 million nationwide settlement to resolve allegations related to the marketing of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based body and baby powder products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower (“talc powder products”). As part of the settlement, Minnesota will receive more than $10.5 million over three years.

The settlement resolves allegations that Johnson & Johnson deceptively promoted and misled consumers in advertisements related to the safety and purity of its talc powder products. These products were marketed primarily to women as a means of absorbing moisture, preventing chafing, and/or preventing odor in the genital region. They were marketed as “safe” and “pure” despite Johnson & Johnson knowing that it could not ensure the talc mined and used in its products was free of asbestos. Johnson & Johnson failed to disclose that asbestos was present in its talc products, and failed to disclose that the asbestos in the talc is harmful and may cause cancer. The settlement requires Johnson & Johnson to permanently stop the manufacture, marketing, promotion, sale, and distribution of all its talc powder products in the United States.

Johnson & Johnson sold talc powder products for over a hundred years. After the coalition of states began investigating, the company stopped distributing and selling these products in the United States and more recently ended global sales. While the states’ investigation targeted the deceptive marketing of these products, numerous other lawsuits filed by private plaintiffs in class actions raised allegations that talc causes serious health issues, including mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.

Personal injury victims may be compensated for their injuries through a separate bankruptcy court process. Minnesota encourages consumers who believe they may have personal injury claims against Johnson & Johnson to visit this website, which has additional information.

“Minnesotans need and deserve accurate information about the safety of the products they buy. Johnson & Johnson fell short of that expectation and the law when they misled consumers about the safety and purity of their baby powder, which put women’s lives at risk,” Attorney General Ellison said. “I’m proud to be part of a bipartisan coalition of states that held Johnson & Johnson accountable. It should serve as a warning that we will not tolerate corporations that deceive the people of Minnesota.”

Texas, Florida, and North Carolina led the multistate settlement, with Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin also joining.

 

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