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AG Marshall announces a $700 Million Settlement Against Johnson & Johnson

Alabama will receive $13.5 million for Alabama's portion of a $700 national settlement in allegations related to marketing of baby powder products that contained talc.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) and 42 state attorneys general announced that they have reached a $700 million nationwide settlement to resolve allegations related to the marketing of Johnson & Johnson's baby powder and body powder products that contained talc. As part of the settlement, which is pending judicial approval, Alabama will receive $13,458,975.

The consent judgment filed in the lawsuit addresses plaintiffs' allegations that Johnson & Johnson deceptively promoted and misled consumers in advertisements related to the safety and purity of some of its talc powder products. As part of the lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to stop the manufacture and sale of its baby powder and body powder products that contain talc in the United States.

"For generations, Johnson & Johnson advertised baby powder as a 'clinically proven' product for women and girls," said AG Marshall in a statement. "Yet, since the 1980s this same company has known of studies showing their talc powder products were tainted with carcinogenic asbestos, increasing a user's risk of ovarian cancer. Our large bipartisan coalition investigated and took necessary action for knowingly exploiting and deceiving consumers."

Numerous other lawsuits filed by private plaintiffs in class actions raised allegations that talc causes serious health issues including mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. If some of these allegations are true; then some consumers experienced medical consequences that in many cases were life altering – in some cases potentially life ending.

"This settlement cannot reverse the harms experienced by consumers, but it can ensure that no one else is exposed to these dangerous products in the future," said Marshall.

Johnson & Johnson sold such 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. This lawsuit targeted the deceptive marketing of these products.

Under the consent judgment, Johnson & Johnson:

• Has ceased and not resumed the manufacturing, marketing, promotion, sale, and distribution of all baby and body powder products and cosmetic powder products that contain talcum powder, including, but not limited to, Johnson's Baby Powder and Johnson & Johnson's Shower to Shower ("Covered Products") in the United States.

• Shall permanently stop the manufacture of any Covered Products in the United States either directly, or indirectly through any third party.

• Shall permanently stop the marketing and promotion of any Covered Products in the United States either directly, or indirectly through any third party.

• Shall permanently stop the sale or distribution any Covered Products in the United States either directly, or indirectly through any third party.

• The State's share of the settlement will be paid by J&J in four annual installments, beginning next month, to be used for consumer protection enforcement and education.

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 joining.

Steve Marshall was appointed as Alabama's Attorney General by then Governor Robert Bentley (R) in 2017. He was elected to his own term as AG in 2018 and has since been re-elected in 2022. He is term limited from running for a third consecutive term as attorney general in 2026.

 

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