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Talc Plaintiffs File Motion for Temporary Restraining Order to Limit Johnson & Johnson’s Use of Bankruptcy Strategy

Filing says third bankruptcy attempt would “create yet more delay” in compensating victims

A group of ovarian cancer victims has filed a motion in federal court seeking to halt Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and its subsidiaries from pursuing a new bankruptcy filing in any district other than New Jersey, where tens of thousands of civil lawsuits are already consolidated in multidistrict litigation.

The company recently announced the pursuit of a prepackaged bankruptcy plan to resolve talc claims in an unspecified federal court in Texas. Two previous bankruptcy filings by the company have been denied by the courts in New Jersey, where J&J is headquartered.

Today’s filing for a temporary restraining order accuses J&J of attempting to evade jurisdiction and manipulate the bankruptcy process to disadvantage tens of thousands of women who developed cancer from continued use of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. The motion for a TRO also seeks to prevent any amendments to agreements between J&J and its subsidiaries to fund the plan without notifying the plaintiffs.

"We will employ every appropriate mechanism possible to stop J&J from using bankruptcy to deprive women of their individual right to choose whether to settle or proceed to a jury trial. Individuals should not be coerced to accept unreasonable settlement values and terms through the bankruptcy vote of a group of others,” says Andy Birchfield of the Beasley Allen Law Firm. “On behalf of our clients, we will press on through all of J&J’s delay tactics and bullying."

The plaintiffs argue that the company's actions, including the proposed third bankruptcy filing, are designed to delay justice and reduce the funds available to compensate victims. The claims highlight the broader concerns expressed by legislators and legal experts about the use of bankruptcy protections by financially solvent companies to evade legal responsibilities for tort claims.

“Johnson & Johnson is advertising its bankruptcy plan to a group of desperate and dying claimants,” says Mike Papantonio of Levin Papantonio Rafferty emphasizing the urgency that the TRO request be heard at the earliest possible date.

The plaintiffs are represented by a coalition of law firms, including Anapol Weiss, Levin Papantonio Rafferty Proctor Buchanan O’Brien Barr Mougey P.A., Bailey Glasser LLP, Beasley Allen Crow Methvin Portis & Miles, P.C., Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP, and Burns Charest LLP.

The TRO motion is filed as Rebecca Love, et al. v LLT Management LLC et al., No. 3:24-cv-06320, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.


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