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Colorado to receive $14 million in talcum powder settlement

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Joe Mueller

(The Center Square) – Colorado will receive approximately 2 percent of a nationwide $700 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson to resolve allegations regarding its baby powder and related products containing talcum powder.

Democrat Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Colorado will receive $14.4 million and 42 other states will receive compensation. Weiser filed a complaint alleging Johnson & Johnson, based in New Jersey, violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. The courts must approve the settlement.

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Phil Weiser

Weiser alleged the company deceptively promoted and misled consumers in advertisements regarding the safety and purity of its baby powder and related products that contained talc. When the coalition of states began investigating in 2020, the company stopped distributing and selling the products in the U.S. and more recently throughout the world.

“For decades, Johnson & Johnson sold baby powder products with talc that was contaminated with asbestos and failed to warn consumers about the risk of cancer and other illnesses,” Weiser said in a statement. “The company also attempted to use bankruptcy courts to dodge responsibility for the misleading marketing of their baby powder products. Today’s settlement sends a message that we will fight to protect consumers and hold companies accountable for their deceptive and harmful conduct.”

There are tens of thousands of lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson alleging the prolonged used of talc or talcum powder found in in baby powder can cause ovarian cancer in some women. A report published last month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology stated the use of talc was positively associated with ovarian cancer. There are numerous other class action lawsuits alleging talc causes other serious health issues, such as mesothelioma.

“Consistent with the plan we outlined last year, the company continues to pursue several paths to achieve a comprehensive and final resolution of the talc litigation,” Erik Haas, worldwide vice president of litigation with Johnson & Johnson, said in a statement. “That progress includes the finalization of a previously announced agreement that the Company reached with a consortium of 43 State Attorneys Generals to resolve their talc claims. We will continue to address the claims of those who do not want to participate in our contemplated consensual bankruptcy resolution through litigation or settlement.”

The 22-page document states the two parties agreed to the settlement without trial or any other legal process and there’s no admission of wrongdoing or liability. The settlement states the company must stop manufacturing, marketing, promotion, sale and distribution of all baby and baby powder products and cosmetic powder products that contain talcum powder. Specific products named are Johnson’s Baby Powder and Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower.

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