How Johnson & Johnson’s Attempt At A $9 Billion Baby Powder Settlement Impacts Black Women

By CultureBanx Team

  • Johnson & Johnson wants to do a one-time lump sum payment of at least $8.9B to thousands of talc-powder claimants
  • To sell more baby powder J&J specifically targeted Black women in   “under-developed geographical areas

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (JNJ +0.29%) wants to do a one-time lump sum payment of at least $8.9 billion to thousands of talc-powder claimants. J&J is still facing more than 38,000 cases that allege its talc products including baby powder caused cancer.  For Black women, who were selected by J&J as “the right place” to sell more baby powder to, specifically targeting  “under-developed geographical areas,” this is perhaps an opportunity for financial reciprocity.

Why This Matters: J&J planned to dance a “Texas two-step” through its subsidiary, LTL Management, as part of a legal strategy that allows companies to separate liabilities from assets through a divisive merger and claim bankruptcy, according to Reuters. However, the court ruled that J&J was not in genuine financial distress and noted the spinoff company still has access to its assets, worth an estimated $61.5 billion. 

Racial and ethnic disparities in U.S. healthcare are rife, with Black women facing higher risks to their health from discrimination. CultureBanx reported, this is something Johnson & Johnson preyed upon as it began distributing baby powder through a specially curated network of churches and beauty salons targeting Black & Hispanic communities.

Moreover, J&J launched a $300,000 radio advertising campaign in six markets with the prime goal of reaching “curvy Southern women 18-49 skewing African American.” To add insult to injury,  an independent investigation discovered that the company knew for decades that asbestos was mixed in with the talcum.

If J&J, the biggest health-products maker by market capitalization, is able to get this product-liability settlement approved, it would become one of the biggest ever. Currently there are 60,000 talc product related claims against the company. Back in 2021, the company agreed to a $100 million settlement regarding similar talc powder claims. This year the company plans to stop selling talc-based baby powder globally. 

What’s Next: LTL has refiled for bankruptcy protection to seek approval of the new J&J plan. Bankruptcy law requires that 75% of voting claimants must vote in favor of the plan. If approved, LTL wants JNJ  to be able to make the payments over 25 years. The company plans to record a first-quarter charge of $6.9 billion.

CBX Vibe:Litigation” A.P. Da Overlord

Welcome to CultureBanx, where we bring you fresh business news curated for hip hop culture!