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Talcum Powder Litigation

Posted on: December 25, 2023

PN Editor
December 25, 2023

Talcum Powder Litigation


Professional Update on Talcum Powder Litigation

Our attorneys are currently managing baby powder lawsuits nationwide. The legal action against Johnson & Johnson concerning their talcum powder products has been progressing for an extended period. Claims within these lawsuits stipulate that prolonged application of talc-based products, such as Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, is linked to the development of ovarian cancer in some women. The aim of this page is to provide a timely update on the J&J talc powder litigation and to examine how the impending bankruptcy ruling may affect settlement amounts in ovarian cancer litigation.

Latest Developments in J&J Talcum Powder Lawsuits

December 22, 2023: 

Further to our last briefing, J&J has made a motion accusing a plaintiff’s talc powder law firm of forming an improper association with an ex-employee who had previously worked with J&J. This association is claimed to have utilized confidential data to their benefit. The defense from the law firm came swiftly, dismissing the notion of accessing privileged information and suggesting that J&J is looking to shift focus from their own shortcomings concerning talc-related injury claims. These recent developments could seem marginal, but they play a part in the overarching landscape of the talc litigation, which has seen numerous settlements and is currently approaching the holiday period. Looking forward to 2024, our anticipation is to report on advancements towards a comprehensive settlement for talc powder, aiming to justly compensate all affected parties.

December 19, 2023: 

Johnson & Johnson has advanced a petition to exclude a plaintiff’s attorney and their law group from the talcum powder multidistrict litigation (MDL). J&J’s concern is the attorney’s fresh coalition with a legal representative who has prior experience representing the other side of the talc litigation. This partnership is presently engaged in mediation for a possible $19 billion settlement regarding ovarian cancer claims linked to J&J’s talcum powder. The contention from J&J is that this alliance could lead to a conflict of interest and unauthorized access to sensitive information, calling attention to the integrity of the resolution process for numerous talcum powder cases.

December 18, 2023: 

Recently, the talc MDL docket has seen the inclusion of roughly 400 additional talcum powder cancer lawsuits. This raises the aggregate number of pending cases to 53,729.

December 8, 2023: 

Bloomberg released an insightful report on a lawyer who has put forward a proposal for a $19 billion settlement directed at addressing all present and future lawsuits involving talc powder.

Talc Powder Litigation Updates

An attorney’s strategy involves the acquisition of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) subdivisions by his firm for the purpose of managing talc-related cases and determining the allocation of settlement funds. Previously a defense attorney for J&J in baby powder lawsuits, he is now dissociating from the presented scheme. The complexity of the issue arises from the potential conflicts of interest, as well as the notion of an entity being compensated to exclusively tackle settlement responsibilities.

The discourse garners interest due to a couple of notable reasons. Initially, the quantification of damages at $19 billion approximates an average settlement value of $200,000 per lawsuit, a substantial figure that garners attention in the context of compensation discussions. Another point of intrigue lies in the proposition for a settlement arrangement encompassing future payments, addressing J&J’s challenge of ongoing claims, notwithstanding a comprehensive settlement of the current 50,000 cases. Projecting the voluminous future claims and ascertaining their costs pose an extraordinarily complex and potential injustice to future claimants.

December 5, 2023 Update: 

J&J is proactively working towards the resolution of numerous lawsuits alleging that asbestos-contaminated talc in its Baby Powder product is carcinogenic. The strategy is geared towards averting the jury trials slated for 2024. Current indications suggest an acquiescence by J&J to the necessity of settling these claims for substantial amounts as an alternative to confronting the impending legal battles.

November 17, 2023 Update: 

Recognizing the gravity of the situation, J&J has chosen a path of settlement for two impending trials involving talc disputes – one resolved mid-trial and the other subsequent to jury selection. Additionally, a case set for trial in Seattle is deferred to February 2024. Despite conjecture, the corresponding settlement figures remain confidential.

November 16, 2023 Update: 

The Talcum Powder Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) has seen an influx of 300 new cases in the past month, escalating the total pending to 53,311. Since the lift of the bankruptcy stay, an increment of over 6,000 new talc lawsuits have been registered.

November 13, 2023 Update: 

A new trial has commenced in California, where the plaintiff argues that mesothelioma contracted is attributable to J&J’s talcum powder. The defense, led by attorney Kim Bueno, posits that the cancer was not a result of talcum powder but rather other asbestos exposures. Conversely, the plaintiff’s representation emphasizes the lack of significant asbestos exposure from alternative sources, focusing on the talcum powder as the primary cause.

November 7, 2023 Update: 

J&J is deliberating a third approach to filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for its LTL unit—a tactic aimed at consolidating the cancer claims connected to its talc products. Previous attempts were thwarted by the Third Circuit court, citing an absence of immediate financial distress. J&J is now considering a jurisdictional shift to the Southern District of Texas, which is perceived as a potentially more sympathetic venue.

Contact Us

If you require more information or assistance with similar cases, please do not hesitate to reach out. You can contact us at Pusch & Nguyen by calling 833-787-4946.


Litigation Update: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cases

November 2, 2023:

Los Angeles County has initiated legal proceedings against Johnson & Johnson, leveling serious allegations that the pharmaceutical giant’s talcum powder products have induced cancer and mesothelioma among its population. Detailed in their filing is the assertion that Johnson & Johnson was knowledgeable of the health risks for numerous decades. Nonetheless, they persisted in actively promoting said products. Los Angeles County is invoking damages and has rigorously criticized the company’s manipulation of corporate structures through what is referred to as the “Texas two-step” strategy, particularly in response to its subsidiary’s insolvency case—notably dismissed by the judiciary. Furthermore, the lawsuit decries the strategic targeting of minority women in marketing endeavors by Johnson & Johnson.

November 1, 2023:

The motion process within the talcum powder class action MDL saw extensive delays, attributable to two non-successful attempts by Johnson & Johnson to divert the legal proceedings into the realm of bankruptcy. Notwithstanding these hindrances, the presiding MDL judge has taken proactive measures to reinstate the momentum of the litigation—issuing a revised scheduling directive for six lawsuits earmarked as bellwether trials. Plaintiffs in these actions implicate the talc product, Shower-to-Shower, asserting the development of cancer due to its asbestos content.

October 18, 2023:

Current reports suggest that Johnson & Johnson is contemplating yet another effort to employ bankruptcy as a tactic to resolve pending lawsuits. These allegations are grounded in the assertion that the company’s talc-infused baby powder harbors potential carcinogens. This contemplation is indicative of active negotiations surrounding the talcum powder settlement. The corporation recognizes the improbability of successful approval for a third bankruptcy endeavor but does not shy away from leveraging the complexity it introduces as a strategic threat.

October 17, 2023:

Subsequent to the revocation of the bankruptcy injunction, the class action MDL against Johnson & Johnson has swelled with over 16,000 new talcum powder lawsuits. A considerable increase of 5,649 cases has been recorded in the previous calendar month alone, culminating in a staggering 50,000 pending talc-related lawsuits.

October 3, 2023:

In a recent judicial development, an appellate court has invalidated a $223 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson awarded by a jury to users of the company’s baby powder, who blamed their cancer diagnoses on asbestos contamination in the product. The appellate decision was premised on the determination of inadmissible scientific evidence influencing the original verdict, necessitating a retrial of the case which may result in a substantially more punitive financial penalty for the corporation.

October 2, 2023:

Following the lift on the bankruptcy moratorium two months earlier, an influx of litigations against Johnson & Johnson has ensued. Within 60 days following the stay’s resolution, the MDL witnessed the addition of an average of 170 daily cases. This frequency has recently decelerated to an average of 70 new cases daily. Nevertheless, the accumulation rate maintains a trajectory that would foresee over 2,000 new claims each month.

September 28, 2023:

The most recent talcum powder lawsuit developments indicate an upsurge exceeding 11,000 newly filed claims within the past month. This elevates the litigation landscape in the wake of a bankruptcy judge’s repudiation of Johnson & Johnson’s strategy to settle nearly 40,000 lawsuits at an aggregate compensation of approximately $9 billion through its subsidiary LTL Management’s insolvency. The legal consensus signals that a settlement figure in excess of the initial $9 billion offer by Johnson & Johnson is a prerequisite to the resolution of such an expansive portfolio of cases—a sentiment echoed across the litigation spectrum.


Talcum Powder Litigation Updates

Legislative Scrutiny and Scientific Deliberation in Talc Litigation

September 25, 2023 Update: The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is presently scrutinizing the intricacies of Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy strategy associated with their talc litigation. The committee hosted a hearing to dissect the controversial “Texas two-step” bankruptcy maneuver—a tactic many professionals believed had been conclusively sidestepped. During the hearing, J&J’s subsidiary, LTL Management, justified their proposition to resolve talc liability claims via an $8.9 billion trust. Despite assertions by J&J’s advocates that this trust would expedite claimant compensation, their plan was met with skepticism and critical questioning by several committee members.

September 21, 2023 Update: In recent developments concerning the Multi-District Litigation (MDL), a change in the presiding judge has necessitated another “Science Day.” This event, quintessential for informing the judiciary of the crucial scientific and medical particulars underpinning the talc-related lawsuits, affords both plaintiffs and defendants an opportunity to present their findings through expert testimonies and empirical research. While the intent of Science Day is educational and neutral, it undoubtedly retains a nuanced competitive edge, as each party seeks to subtly further their client’s interests. This instructive session is anticipated to convene in the intervening months of November or December.

September 18, 2023 Update: An update on the class action MDL reveals a surge to 47,346 pending talcum powder cases—a significant increase from the 37,542 cases reported just three months earlier. This escalation in numbers follows the recent lifting of an automatic bankruptcy stay earlier in the summer.

September 12, 2023 Update: Addressing the ongoing conflict as outlined in our July 10, 2023 litigation update, J&J has launched a contentious legal action against plaintiffs’ expert Dr. Jacqueline Moline, challenging her scholarly article that correlates talc with mesothelioma. However, her defense, supported by a motion for dismissal, robustly advocates for the protection of her academic freedom under the First Amendment, as recognized by New Jersey law. Dr. Moline, an esteemed authority in Occupational Medicine, contends that academic disagreements should not be the grounds for accusations of trade libel.

September 9, 2023 Update: LTL Management LLC, a subsidiary of J&J, is currently appealing the dismissal of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. The appeal poses critical questions concerning the requirements for declaring financial distress when seeking bankruptcy protections in good faith.

Contact Our Legal Team

Should you require further assistance or wish to discuss a potential case, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Contact Pusch & Nguyen at 833-787-4946.


Court Rulings and Updates on Johnson & Johnson’s Talc Litigation

The court ruled that LTL was not in sufficient financial distress when it filed for bankruptcy due to backing from its parent company. The 3rd Circuit clearly does not agree with J&J. So this is a huge waste of time for everyone except the people who get paid by the hour to write appellate briefs.

September 1, 2023 Update: 

J&J has perfected delay tactics to a fine art. The company now wishes to reargue expert witness challenges that were previously decided by the now-retired MDL judge. This redundant request seems to be a fruitless effort, primarily wasting everyone’s time.

August 23, 2023 Update: 

In light of Johnson & Johnson’s second talc-related bankruptcy claim being denied, plaintiff attorneys are preparing to advance trials on a national scale. Accordingly, lawyers in the talc multidistrict litigation have proposed a new trial strategy, which consolidates the cases of multiple plaintiffs. Johnson & Johnson staunchly opposes this tactic, referring to a past $4.7 billion verdict—later reduced to $2.1 billion on appeal—as a demonstration of the potential risks involved. Nonetheless, the possibility of a substantial loss does not pertain to the court’s concerns.

August 16, 2023 Update: 

The number of talc powder lawsuits in MDL 2738 has now reached 37,700, ranking it as the second-largest MDL in the United States.

August 15, 2023 Update: 

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan has determined this week that J&J and its talcum powder subsidiary, LTL Management, are not prohibited from initiating a third bankruptcy filing. This ruling came after the rejection of LTL’s second bankruptcy filing earlier this month, when lawyers for the talcum plaintiffs requested a six-month ban on further bankruptcy filings by the company—a request that was subsequently denied. J&J has remained silent on whether it plans to pursue another filing.

August 14, 2023 Update: 

On Friday, Judge Michael Kaplan in Trenton, New Jersey, dismissed Johnson & Johnson’s talc subsidiary’s second bankruptcy case. Despite previous speculation, as noted in our August 3rd update, the judge did not grant the plaintiffs’ talc powder lawyers’ request for a six-month prohibition on future bankruptcy filings by J&J.

August 4, 2023 Update: 

The New Jersey bankruptcy judge managing Johnson & Johnson’s Chapter 11 proceedings to resolve talc claims has dismissed a motion from a law firm to bar attorney Randi S. Ellis from serving as the representative for future mesothelioma claims, stating that the request “lacks any legal or factual basis.”

Legal Proceedings Against J&J’s Talc-Related Claims

August 3, 2023: Update on Bankruptcy Filings

Could Johnson & Johnson employ a third or even fourth bankruptcy strategy? Plaintiffs seeking restitution for baby powder claims are requesting a judicial order that prohibits J&J from initiating further bankruptcy proceedings for a six-month period. Despite appearing sensible, the very judge who recently dismissed J&J’s last case seems disinclined to enforce any limitations on subsequent filings.

August 1, 2023: Evaluation of J&J’s Next Steps Post-Dismissal

Having faced the rejection of its second attempt at bankruptcy, Johnson & Johnson is now contemplating alternative legal strategies to resolve the myriad of cancer claims associated with its talcum-based products. Discussions are ongoing regarding the possibility of individual settlements, dialogues with representing law firms, or achieving a comprehensive global settlement—though this last route is acknowledged to be particularly challenging. It is anticipated that J&J may prioritize agreements with individual law firms, which would help to decrease their litigation burden and provide relief to company shareholders.

July 29, 2023: J&J’s Talc Unit Bankruptcy Dismissed

Significant developments have occurred, with a New Jersey bankruptcy judge rejecting the second Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Johnson & Johnson’s talc subsidiary, citing their failure to demonstrate the necessary level of financial distress—a ruling akin to that of the first dismissal by the Second Circuit in January. This decision enhances the plaintiffs’ negotiating power, necessitating that J&J allocates additional resources to reach settlements.

July 21, 2023: Global Settlement Proposal and Recent Verdict Implications

Johnson & Johnson has put forward an $8.9 billion global settlement offer to address the talcum powder lawsuits, which is presently backed by a considerable portion of the plaintiffs and their attorneys. However, the confidence in this settlement is shaken by a substantial $18.8 million verdict in a California talc trial earlier in the week, which may bolster plaintiffs’ resolve for appropriate compensation—suggesting that the proposed settlement amount is inadequate for resolving nearly 38,000 claims.

July 19, 2023: Notable California Verdict in Talcum Powder Case

A California jury awarded $18.8 million in damages to a young man alleging that his prolonged exposure to Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder resulted in the development of lethal mesothelioma. This outcome is noteworthy for being the first since J&J’s talc liability unit attempted a spinoff into bankruptcy, propelling concerns about the fairness of current settlement offers.

July 16, 2023: Concerns Over Legal Representation in Bankruptcy Case

A law firm advocating for mesothelioma victims has submitted a plea for the dismissal of attorney Randi S. Ellis from representing future bankruptcy claimants against Johnson & Johnson’s talc unit. The appeal arises from allegations concerning the observance of Ellis dining with J&J’s lead negotiator and members of the committee supporting the bankruptcy plan, casting doubt on her impartiality and ability to discharge her fiduciary responsibilities.

Contact Information

For further assistance or inquiries regarding the Johnson & Johnson talcum powder litigation, please Contact Pusch & Nguyen at 833-787-4946.


Talc Litigation Updates

California Baby Powder Asbestos Lawsuit

July 11, 2023: 

Closing statements in California’s significant asbestos litigation involving baby powder have been concluded. Counsel for the plaintiff fervently argued that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) blatantly disregarded critical medical reports dating back to 1998, coinciding with the plaintiff’s birth year, which indicated a possible presence of asbestos within its talc-based products. The plaintiff’s legal team posited that J&J’s inaction during this period precipitated Hernandez’s exposure and resultant severe illness. The damages sought by the plaintiff range from $40 million to $50 million in compensatory form, in addition to $450 million in punitive damages—a substantial claim that is deemed appropriate under these circumstances.

July 10, 2023: 

LTL Management LLC, a bankrupt subsidiary of J&J tasked with handling talc-related legal challenges, has launched a suit against a trio of medical experts, whose published articles correlating talc usage with mesothelioma have allegedly undermined LTL’s business interests. These publications have been disparaged by LTL as “junk science”. This approach mirrors LTL’s previous litigious strategies during its bankruptcy proceedings—all of which have been invalidated post the dismissal of their bankruptcy case. This move by J&J appears to serve as a deterrent to experts, signaling potential legal confrontations should their scientific research reach conclusions unpalatable to large corporations. The broader implications pose a threat to academic freedom and the valuable exchange of scientific knowledge in the public domain.

July 1, 2023: 

The bankruptcy proceedings in New Jersey concerning LTL Management have concluded. It is now up to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan to render a decision on whether to invalidate the subsidiary’s bankruptcy filing. Created to handle the deluge of talc-powder lawsuits filed against J&J, LTL’s purpose was to shield these cases from juries who have previously ruled against the company, awarding billions in damages.

Ongoing Talc Trials and Decisions

June 29, 2023: 

In Oakland, California, the mesothelioma litigation over J&J’s baby powder products advances with the plaintiff’s case now rested and J&J’s defense in progress. Dr. Ed Kuffner, J&J’s Chief Medical Officer for consumer health products, was summoned to testify. He addressed the recall of a substantial batch of talc powder, which was allegedly tainted with chrysotile asbestos—though no subsequent tests were administered on the 38,000 recalled bottles. Thus, J&J appears to contest the FDA’s initial findings. The transparency of these actions by J&J is under scrutiny, and it remains to be seen if the jury will concur with this perspective.

June 28, 2023: 

As the bankruptcy case of J&J’s talc unit progresses, the financial underpinnings of LTL Management were brought to light. Following the obsolescence of an earlier agreement, a new funding contract was established with J&J to support an $8.9 billion settlement proposal. The appropriateness of such bankruptcy usage has been contested, with the 3rd Circuit expressing its disapproval—a sentiment that ought to influence the court to dismiss the case, regardless of how J&J iteratively re-packages the issue.

June 27, 2023: 

The plight of a 24-year-old plaintiff in the J&J baby powder mesothelioma trial in Alameda County, California, was brought to the forefront as he delivered heartfelt testimony regarding the dire ramifications of his mesothelioma diagnosis. The jury was moved by his account of the anguish tied to discovering such a severe illness at his age—a condition he attributes to his lifelong use of J&J’s baby powder. His poignant narrative highlighted the life-altering impact of his condition and how awareness of the associated risks might have influenced his choice to avoid the product entirely.

Contact Pusch & Nguyen

For more information or assistance with related cases, please feel free to reach out to Pusch & Nguyen at 833-787-4946.


Johnson & Johnson Talc Litigation Updates

Plaintiffs have marshaled compelling scientific evidence demonstrating a correlation between mesothelioma and the use of talc powder. Johnson & Johnson now stands at a critical point where they are to present their defense. Given the significant implications of their precarious $8.9 billion settlement proposal, it remains perplexing that Johnson & Johnson has not extended a reasonable settlement offer.

June Updates

June 14, 2023: 

A judge in New Jersey postponed pivotal decisions in the Chapter 11 proceedings of Johnson & Johnson’s bankrupt subsidiary LTL Management LLC. Awaiting the results of an impending trial, the judge has deferred ruling on whether to revoke LTL’s exclusive right to put forward a Chapter 11 plan. Despite an initial case dismissal, LTL has renewed their bankruptcy petition, advocating for an $8.9 billion settlement fund intended for cancer and mesothelioma claimants citing asbestos exposure from talc-based products. Many speculate that this proposal will not gain sufficient support from the affected individuals. It is anticipated that Judge Kaplan will align with the 3rd Circuit’s sentiment and dismiss the bankruptcy—a similar outcome to what recently transpired in the 3M MDL when the company attempted a comparable strategy.

June 2, 2023: 

During a California trial concerning asbestos in talc, technical difficulties disrupted the opening statement by defense attorneys. Jurors, tuning in via Zoom, managed to hear the attorney for Johnson & Johnson question the validity of 1970s studies that detected asbestos in their products before the presentation ceased abruptly. Nonetheless, the plaintiff’s initial witness, Arthur Langer, educated the court on the natural co-occurrence of minerals with talc, noting his team’s finding of chrysotile asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talc in 1971, albeit in low concentration, and again in larger amounts in 1976.

June 1, 2023: 

An important juncture has been reached in the ongoing talc litigation with the commencement of the first trial subsequent to Johnson & Johnson’s decision to spin off its talc business unit and declare bankruptcy. The proceedings began in earnest with a case involving a 24-year-old plaintiff suffering from a rare and serious form of mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s attorney accused Johnson & Johnson of employing deceptive research and litigation tactics, including manipulating asbestos definitions, despite historical internal documents indicating the presence of asbestos fibers in the plaintiff’s tissue samples. The trial’s outcome could critically influence the general acceptance of Johnson & Johnson’s significant $8.9 billion settlement proposal among the plaintiffs.

May Updates

May 31, 2023: 

In a concerted effort to defend its second Chapter 11 filing, Johnson & Johnson’s talc division argued its distinctiveness from the first filing before the New Jersey bankruptcy court. Emphasizing an unprecedentedly large $8.9 billion commitment, the subsidiary presented its argument without addressing the settlement’s fairness in comparison to its size. Claims of support from a substantial number of plaintiffs’ law firms were presented, the accuracy of which is suspect and potentially incorrect.

May 24, 2023: 

For the first time since their 2021 bankruptcy filing, Johnson & Johnson faces a jury trial relating to its cosmetic talc products, which have been alleged to contain asbestos. Set to commence in the plaintiff-friendly Alameda County Superior Court in California, the trial will address claims by a plaintiff whose mesothelioma, according to the allegations, resulted from asbestos exposure through Johnson & Johnson’s products—claims which Johnson & Johnson denies. The lawsuit also implicates several retailers accused of selling products containing talc.

May 22, 2023: 

In the second Johnson & Johnson talc-related bankruptcy case, legal representatives are in contention over the appointment of a future claims representative, whose role is vital to the resolution of talc claims. Previously, Randi Ellis, who frequently appears in MDLs nationwide, held the position during the first bankruptcy. Despite the defense team’s inclination to re-appoint Ellis, plaintiff lawyers maintain she bears a conflict of interest that could compromise her neutrality, particularly since she had participation in drafting the controversial second bankruptcy petition. The legitimacy of this bankruptcy proceeding, however, is still uncertain and may likely face dismissal.

Contact Information for Pusch & Nguyen

If you require assistance or have inquiries regarding these lawsuits, please do not hesitate to contact us at 833-787-4946.


Johnson & Johnson Talc Litigation Updates

May 17, 2023:

Pusch & Nguyen reports that the fictional entity created by J&J for managing the talc litigation bankruptcy disclosed to a New Jersey bankruptcy court their allotment of $400 million to resolve claims by states citing deceptive marketing practices for talc products. Consequently, the total proposed settlement for cancer victims amounts to $8.5 billion. Nevertheless, when examining the per-case distribution, an average payout of approximately $100,000 seems inadequate for compensating the victims’ suffering.

May 15, 2023:

A lawsuit might be imminent against J&J by an advocacy group championing cancer victims. The group alleges that J&J purposefully revoked a $61.5 billion financial commitment with LTL Management LLC to feign fiscal hardship, thus legitimizing the subsidiary’s Chapter 11 filing, an act they equate to a fraudulent transfer of the victims’ rights to compensation. The group aims to scrutinize J&J’s strategies following the dismissal of LTL’s initial bankruptcy case.

May 10, 2023:

Next week, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey is scheduled to deliberate on a motion to dismiss LTL Management’s second bankruptcy submission. Meanwhile, an Order has mandated both parties to engage in new settlement mediations with the hope of reaching an overarching settlement agreement.

May 5, 2023:

Confronted with escalating lawsuits alleging cancer causation due to asbestos-laced talc products, talc supplier Whittaker, Clark & Daniels sought Chapter 11 protection. The substantial legal costs of $1 million monthly and a recent $29 million verdict in South Carolina have left the company with no alternative but to declare bankruptcy, advocating a fair distribution of assets to talc claimants.

May 4, 2023:

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan has instructed J&J to re-engage in settlement discussions with attorneys rejecting the company’s $8.9 billion settlement proposition. At a conference in Trenton, New Jersey, the call for renewed negotiations followed the initiative to deliberate further steps for LTL Management’s second bankruptcy case. While lawyers remain divided on accepting the offer, J&J must confront the harsh reality that the bankruptcy proceedings might be stalling; a hearing in June will decide whether to dismiss the bankruptcy for a second time.

May 3, 2023:

A collective of cancer victims has appealed to the Third Circuit Court to suspend the bankruptcy filed by J&J’s subsidiary, arguing it as a ploy to impede litigation concerning their talc products. The committee representing the victims is seeking to revert the case to a lower court for dismissal of the bankruptcy, and for the litigation against J&J to continue. This appeal comes on the heels of LTL Management filing for Chapter 11 protection after an initial rejection by the court, and amidst J&J’s worldwide vice president of litigation proclaiming the appeal an inadequate attempt by select law firms trying to protect conflicting financial interests.

May 1, 2023:

Scrutiny abounds on why plaintiffs and their representatives would reject an $8.9 billion settlement offer. Despite the substantiality of the sum, the number of victims and the potency of the plaintiff’s cases merit further consideration. This stance is reinforced by recent trial verdicts, including an $18.1 million judgment in an Oregon mesothelioma trial and a subsequent $29 million verdict in a South Carolina case this past month. Whittaker, Clark & Daniels Inc., a primary talc supplier in the U.S., was the defendant in both lawsuits.

Contact Us

For more information or assistance, please contact Pusch & Nguyen at 833-787-4946.


Talcum Powder Litigation Updates

April 30, 2023:

In an unprecedented move, Johnson & Johnson attempted to funnel the extensive talcum powder litigation into bankruptcy protection, initially proposing a $2 billion settlement fund. This sum was unequivocally rejected by all plaintiffs as it was deemed insufficient. Recently, their offer has been substantially increased to $8.9 billion, a proposal which now has the backing of a considerable portion of the plaintiffs and their attorneys. However, obtaining the approval of 75% of the plaintiffs, a necessity for the bankruptcy plan to progress, remains a formidable challenge due to resistance from a number of lawyers with sizable rosters of baby powder suits who are not in favor of the settlement. Could an increase in the financial offering bridge the path to resolution?

April 25, 2023:

LTL Management LLC, an entity strategically constructed by Johnson & Johnson, is facing requests from talc cancer claimants for dismissal of its Chapter 11 case. The claimants contest the validity of LTL’s financial distress, which is a cornerstone requirement for bankruptcy protection. Their first foray into Chapter 11 proceedings was rejected in January by the 3rd Circuit due to insufficient evidence of financial duress. Accusations of bad faith and systematic abuse of the bankruptcy process are now being leveled against LTL’s second attempt at Chapter 11. This occurs as Johnson & Johnson maintains that the proposed bankruptcy settlement has garnered “significant support” from the attorneys representing around 60,000 claimants, though the fractured stance of plaintiffs’ lawyers and victims is notable.

April 21, 2023:

A new development in the proceedings has emerged as a bankruptcy judge has decreed that Johnson & Johnson must face the burgeoning lawsuits alleging their baby powder products are contaminated and carcinogenic. Despite a temporary suspension on talc lawsuit trials for a minimum of 60 days, the ruling allows for new cases to be initiated and for attorneys to commence their preparatory work. This decision comes amidst judicial skepticism towards Johnson & Johnson’s renewed efforts to leverage bankruptcy proceedings.

April 13, 2023:

The $8.9 billion settlement offer over a span of 25 years has captured substantial attention. Attorneys representing cancer victims in the class action have pledged to oppose this arrangement, arguing the amount to be an inadequate compensation for the estimated 70,000 afflicted individuals. They contend that Johnson & Johnson should either negotiate a more substantial settlement or prepare to contest individual claims should the latter bankruptcy attempt be invalidated. In contrast, there is another contingent of lawyers, not at the forefront of the class action leadership, who are inclined towards accepting the current deal, which they believe benefits their clients who are seeking timely resolution and compensation. The latter group posits the settlement amount as reasonable and emphasizes the urgency felt by the victims to secure their compensation without further delay.

April 12, 2023:

There is growing curiosity regarding Johnson & Johnson’s ability to pursue bankruptcy a second time. The rationale provided by the company is multifaceted, yet essentially rooted in the assertion that bankruptcy offers a more structured and equitable means to settle current and future talc-related lawsuits. Johnson & Johnson advocates that this approach offers greater fairness than the traditional court system, proposing that it ensures a more balanced distribution of compensations across litigants, as opposed to the disparate outcomes often observed in trial court verdicts.

Contact Pusch & Nguyen for Legal Representation

For those affected by the talcum powder litigation and seeking expert legal advice, please reach out to Pusch & Nguyen at 833-787-4946 for assistance.


Understanding the Recent 3rd Circuit Decision

The essence of the 3rd Circuit’s decision implies that Johnson & Johnson (J&J)’s strategy of creating a subsidiary to assume legal liabilities and pursue bankruptcy was not an outcome envisaged by the architects of the Bankruptcy Code. However, the court observed that the subsidiary wasn’t financially troubled due to J&J’s pledge of unlimited funding.

Johnson & Johnson seized on the clause concerning unrestricted funding, clarifying that the promise of unfettered financial support was not extended to litigation costs. Asserting that revised financial agreements with its subsidiary accommodate the appellate court’s advice while also providing funds for compensating claims, the strategy seemingly overlooks the main concern: the insufficiency of the settlement offer to the victims.

In response, lawyers representing cancer victims disputing the settlement expressed their views, accusing J&J of illicitly funneling $50 billion in assets from LTL Management, thereby avoiding the earlier decree of the appeals court. This act was melodramatically described by the victims’ lawyers as “the largest fraudulent transfer in United States history.”

Stripping away the legal rhetoric, it appears that J&J harbors doubts about the longevity of this bankruptcy. Nevertheless, the corporation sees the process as a tactic to endorse an $8.9 billion settlement and maintain leverage over the plaintiffs.

Recent Updates

April 10, 2023 Update: Bloomberg recently published an intriguing report on a novel statute in New Jersey that casts new light on litigation financing in the baby powder class action lawsuit against J&J. Litigation funders such as Virage Capital Management and TRGP Capital have made investments in a multitude of claims against J&J regarding their talc products, aiming for a share in potential awards. Despite facing upwards of 60,000 claims collectively in state and federal courts, J&J has proposed a settlement of $8.9 billion to resolve all lawsuits. The funders’ participation has been divulged as per a New Jersey court mandate, which requires disclosing specific details about external financial backers. This development is part of broader efforts to regulate litigation finance, an industry that could potentially equalize the power dynamic between individual litigants and large-scale corporations within the judicial system.

April 4, 2023 Update: It is quite compelling to witness the changing tides in this ongoing litigation. This week, J&J faced a setback when the Third Circuit refused to extend the automatic stay while the company sought to appeal a bankruptcy decision to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). The automatic stay, which has held up thousands of talcum powder cases and forestalled the filing of new suits since J&J embarked on its controversial strategy, was dismissed a few months back by the 3rd Circuit. J&J’s hope for the stay to be prolonged during the SCOTUS appeal was denied, allowing legal proceedings to resume.

April 1, 2023 Update: Last week, J&J announced its intention to escalate its 3rd Circuit bankruptcy defeat to the United States Supreme Court. The likelihood of the Supreme Court entertaining the appeal appears minimal.

March 16, 2023 Update: With the bankruptcy stay conclusively lifted, the first new filings have emerged, with cases being incorporated into the talcum powder class action MDL for the first time in over a year. In the span of the last month, seven new talc lawsuits swelled the MDL’s dockets, pushing the aggregate number of active cases to 37,522.

February 25, 2023 Update: A legislator from Tennessee is calling upon the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the financial ramifications of J&J’s talc products on government expenses over the years.


GAO Called to Investigate J&J’s Talc Product Dangers

In a formal communication to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Representative Steven Cohen (D-Ten.) has leveled serious allegations against Johnson & Johnson. He claims that the corporation has for many years neglected the risks associated with its talc products, despite the costs incurred by taxpayers to treat those harmed through exposure to these products. This request for scrutiny comes on the heels of a significant ruling against Johnson & Johnson in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, suggesting that it’s high time for the company to begin making equitable settlement proposals to the affected parties, so as to mitigate the damage to its reputation.

Recent Developments in the Talcum Powder Litigation

February 14, 2023: 

During proceedings today in a New Jersey court, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan signaled his decision to potentially dismiss the bankruptcy case in light of the recent 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision.

February 8, 2023: 

A major update in MDL 2738 discloses the commencement of a fresh chapter in the talc powder litigation saga, marked by the appointment of a new presiding judge. Succeeding the retired Judge Freda L. Wolfson, the JPML Panel has entrusted U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp with the responsibility of overseeing the continued proceedings. With a change in judiciary leadership, the baby powder class action lawsuit is poised for revival after seven years under Judge Wolfson’s jurisdiction.

January 31, 2023: 

Our latest commentary on the implications of the 3rd Circuit’s decision regarding the baby powder bankruptcy case can be found in our most recent post.

January 30, 2023: 

The Third Circuit Court issued a verdict that struck down Johnson & Johnson’s stratagem to segregate its burgeoning talcum powder liabilities via bankruptcy. With today’s decision, the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed by a subsidiary of J&J for this very purpose was invalidated. Consequently, J&J’s shares plummeted by 3%, marking their sharpest downturn in over two years, an event that Johnson & Johnson seeks to counter by appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

January 2, 2023: 

An anticipatory note rather than an actual update forecasts the 3rd Circuit’s refusal of J&J’s bankruptcy ploy in the coming month of February. Despite likely appeals to the highest court, the prospect of widespread settlements prior to definitive legal resolution stirs palpable excitement for progress within the litigation in 2023, following years of stagnation.

December 25, 2022: 

A reevaluation of the 3rd Circuit oral arguments sheds light on a robust debate between both factions, with an equally powerful panel of judges. The likelihood seems slim that they will acquiesce to this manipulative ‘bankruptcy to circumvent bankruptcy’ strategy, though one might question if this perspective is tinted by personal bias.

December 22, 2022: 

New lawsuits are surfacing nationwide as women who have experienced injuries from chemical hair straighteners step forward. Significantly, those involved in the talcum powder litigation are drawing parallels to ovarian cancer cases purportedly linked to relaxer usage, supported by compelling scientific evidence.

December 15, 2022: 

Negotiations regarding talc powder settlements are anticipated to gain momentum pending the Third Circuit’s determination on Johnson & Johnson’s attempt to leverage bankruptcy as a shield against litigation.


Legal Updates on Johnson & Johnson Litigation

October 1, 2022 Update:

There is an insightful article published in The New Yorker detailing the ongoing J&J litigation that is highly recommended for those following the case.

September 27, 2022 Update:

In recent developments, the appointed mediator has been instructed to provide an update to the presiding judge on the progress of settlement negotiations prior to the onset of winter.

The temperature drop today served as a reminder of the impending deadline.

September 20, 2022 Update: Judges Question the Legitimacy of J&J’s Strategic Bankruptcy

During a session held at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, a panel of three judges heard arguments surrounding the contentious legal strategy employed by Johnson & Johnson. This strategy involved the formation of LTL Management—a separate entity to which J&J transferred its talcum powder-related liabilities—followed by LTL’s immediate filing for bankruptcy.

The core issue under appellate review is whether such a maneuver is legally permissible or if the bankruptcy filing was an act of bad faith that should be nullified. Throughout the proceedings, the judges posed a series of probing questions, particularly focusing on whether the underlying motive for the bankruptcy was to gain a litigation advantage. In response, J&J’s defense counsel contended that any litigation benefit was merely incidental to broader objectives.

Despite these assertions, the panel expressed skepticism, echoing the broader legal community’s concern that sanctioning this bankruptcy approach could set a precedent, potentially leading solvent companies, such as those involved in the 3M earplug litigation, to adopt similar strategies to divest themselves of legal liabilities.

Talcum Powder Settlement Implications

The adjudication of the current matter will significantly influence the compensation figures of the talcum powder settlements. In the event that Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy strategy is sanctioned, victims will retain eligibility for compensation disbursements. However, these payments may be diminished absent the pressure of substantial jury verdicts and given J&J’s potential to settle these claims under the auspices of bankruptcy proceedings.

At our law firm, Pusch & Nguyen, we are earnestly anticipating a judicious resolution from the 3rd Circuit. Bankruptcy laws are designed to shield creditors in instances of insolvency. Conversely, Johnson & Johnson appears to be exploiting the Bankruptcy Code to orchestrate their litigation strategy, despite being a conglomerate with a net worth approaching nearly half a trillion dollars. This exploitation is not in the spirit of the intended purpose of bankruptcy protection.

Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Litigation Update: August 2022

This month brought forth two pivotal developments in the ongoing Johnson & Johnson talc litigation saga:

August Update #1: Potential Talcum Powder Settlement on the Horizon?

An independent assessor was appointed by the judge overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings linked to J&J’s talc claims. Esteemed mediator Kenneth Feinberg has been tasked with delivering a valuation on the talcum powder claims, which is anticipated to aid settlement negotiations. Although this does not immediately herald an approaching settlement, it instills hope for the victims – a sentiment that has been long-awaited for resolution.

August Update #2: Discontinuation of Talcum Powder in Products

Johnson & Johnson declared their intent to cease the incorporation of talcum powder in their product array starting the upcoming year. This delay suggests a motive to deplete existing inventory before the cessation of talc-based products.

Contact Us

For any inquiries or assistance regarding talcum powder lawsuits, please reach out to Pusch & Nguyen at 833-787-4946.


Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Litigation Update

J&J has ceased selling several of its talcum-based products in Canada and the U.S. and has announced that it will complete the transition from talc to cornstarch in any remaining products by the year’s end.

July 2022: Johnson & Johnson Lawsuit Status

Plaintiffs in talcum powder lawsuits are actively pursuing an appeal against Johnson & Johnson’s use of a contentious bankruptcy strategy aimed at mitigating its talc powder liabilities. Our attorneys at Pusch & Nguyen provide an overview of this strategy. In brief, J&J is reportedly exploiting bankruptcy laws to minimize payouts in talc baby powder litigations.

The appellate court has consented to the plaintiffs’ request to challenge J&J’s employment of bankruptcy protections. The initial brief from the talc plaintiffs’ legal team has been submitted and J&J is expected to present its counter-arguments within 30 days. Oral arguments may be slated for autumn. Considering that 38,000 plaintiffs had filed lawsuits as of July 15, 2022, a swift court decision is anticipated.

June 2022: Talcum Powder Lawsuit Proceedings

Judge Michael Kaplan, serving as the federal bankruptcy judge in North Carolina, has been closely examining J&J’s litigation tactics within the highly debated bankruptcy proceedings pertaining to 38,000 unresolved talcum powder lawsuits. Since February, Kaplan’s rulings have effectively issued an automatic stay, shielding J&J from any baby powder litigations.

The maintenance of this stay is intended to promote settlement discussions as part of the bankruptcy process. Nonetheless, plaintiffs’ lawyers assert that J&J is attempting to impose the bankruptcy procedure unjustly by not providing equitable settlement offers to the victims.

May 2022: Current Insights on the Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Juries have repeatedly held that J&J’s talc products should not be sold due to the risk of causing cancer. While not all cases have resulted in such findings, the legal battles have cost J&J nearly a billion dollars in legal fees, along with billions more in settlements and verdicts—some of which are under appeal. The cost implications suggest that it may be prudent for J&J to cease selling talc products in additional markets to protect future profits and, more importantly, human lives.


Johnson & Johnson Shareholders Prioritize Profits Over Legal and Ethical Concerns

Despite troubling admissions by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) regarding the aggressive marketing tactics aimed at Black and Brown women for its talc products, shareholders have unequivocally expressed their intention to continue the global sale of talc powder. Even after the World Health Organization (WHO) classified these products as “possibly carcinogenic,” profit margins remain the driving force behind shareholder decisions.

April 2022 Update: Talcum Powder Litigation Forecast

The legal landscape for the talcum powder lawsuits is still in flux given the recent bankruptcy ruling. For those contemplating initiating a baby powder lawsuit, it remains a pertinent question as to whether such legal actions should proceed. Indicative of the ongoing concern, current talcum powder lawsuit commercials suggest continued interest and activity in these cases. Legal experts, including our firm’s attorneys, predict a significant increase in the number of litigations, estimating that the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) class action panel will report a rise to 17,000 lawsuits next month. For individuals with emerging ovarian cancer claims, Pusch & Nguyen strongly recommend seeking legal counsel without delay.

March 2022 Update: J&J’s Bankruptcy Strategy Upheld by Court

In a recent development, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael B. Kaplan rejected attempts to dismiss J&J’s strategic use of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Drafting a subsidiary to bear the brunt of talcum powder liabilities has been widely criticized but nonetheless stands for now. This decision, which some hope will face reversal either through appeal courts or legislative actions proposed by figures such as Senator Dick Durbin, is acknowledged by J&J as an “extraordinary step” disparaged by a spectrum of stakeholders.

February 2022 Update: Legal Wrangling Over J&J’s Bankruptcy Ploy

J&J is currently navigating a contentious bankruptcy procedure. In an audacious move, the conglomerate segregated its talc-related liabilities into a new entity, LTL Management, which promptly filed for bankruptcy. This legal maneuvering is intended to create a $2 billion trust to resolve all existing and future claims related to talcum powder cancers, effectively absolving J&J of further responsibility. However, this action faces staunch opposition from plaintiff attorneys who question its legitimacy. A judgment anticipated by the end of February will decide whether J&J can proceed with its divisive strategy.

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects J&J Appeal in Talcum Powder Lawsuit

December 2021 Update: 

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Johnson & Johnson’s attempt to discard a lawsuit brought forth by the state of Mississippi over allegations related to talc powder.

November 2021 Update: 

In the spring of 2021, Johnson & Johnson agreed to a significant settlement, paying $100 million to resolve a batch of 1,000 talc cases. This judgement indicated the potential for a comprehensive settlement for all talcum powder litigations. However, recent events signify a departure from this trajectory.

In August 2021, a California jury awarded a plaintiff $26.5 million in a talc powder case against Johnson & Johnson. This outcome was quickly overshadowed by subsequent defense verdicts in three talcum powder trials favoring the company. A particularly unexpected move followed as Johnson & Johnson opted for a complex bankruptcy strategy known as the “Texas-two-step” in an attempt to evade liability for the remaining lawsuits.

The process began with the establishment of a new subsidiary, LTL, in Texas, to which they assigned all talc-related assets. The next step was for LTL to file for bankruptcy in North Carolina, aiming to resolve the pending cases with minimal repercussions to Johnson & Johnson. This maneuver has been met with significant backlash, including from the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

However, the bankruptcy court expressed reservations concerning Johnson & Johnson’s intentions. With only a 60-day stay granted, litigation involving talcum powder claims is set to proceed as we move into 2021.

Corporate Split and Liability Concerns

Amidst the bankruptcy discussions, Johnson & Johnson is undergoing a split into two distinct entities. A pressing question arises regarding which company will inherit the liabilities associated with the 40,000 pending lawsuits.

Status of Talcum Powder Lawsuit Update

Since early investigations identified a link between talcum powder and cancer, numerous product liability lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson. The federal lawsuits have been merged into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) class action. Despite discussions of bankruptcy, the MDL continues to operate actively.


Johnson & Johnson’s Talcum Powder Litigation Update

Recent Settlement: Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to a landmark settlement amounting to $100 million to resolve over 1,000 lawsuits consolidated in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) concerning their talcum powder products. This considerable financial commitment signifies a notable deviation from J&J’s long-standing assertion of no fault in the production and marketing of talcum powder, and their vigorous defense against all related legal claims.

The Catalyst for Change

The pivot in J&J’s legal strategy may be attributed to the repercussions of a substantial $2 billion verdict ruled in favor of 22 women in a Missouri talcum powder lawsuit. Such an impactful financial punishment has captured the attention of J&J, highlighting the severe implications of continued litigation for the organization.

The Missouri Talcum Powder Case: Ingham et al. v. Johnson & Johnson et al.

The case of Inghan et al. v. Johnson & Johnson et al., lodged within the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis—a jurisdiction known to favor plaintiffs—served as one of the forerunners in talcum powder lawsuits. The plaintiffs, a group of 22 women, contended Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products, claiming a direct link to their ovarian cancer diagnoses and accusing J&J of concealing the presence of asbestos fibers and other carcinogens within its talc products for decades.

The complaint further alleged that J&J deliberately withheld this critical health information from not only the public but also government regulators, health officials, and the scientific community. Moreover, it was argued that J&J established sufficient jurisdictional ties in Missouri through a long-standing contractual relationship with Pharma Tech Industries of Missouri, responsible for manufacturing and packaging the talcum products in question.

Despite efforts by J&J to dismiss the case based on jurisdictional challenges and to sever the joint claims of the 22 plaintiffs on the grounds of insufficient relativeness, all dismissal motions were ultimately denied.

Verdict: $4.14 Billion in Punitive Damages

The culmination of 18 months of pre-trial discovery, which brought thousands of pages of documentation to light, led to a trial in St. Louis during May 2018. Spanning six weeks and hearing from over 30 witnesses, the jury returned a unanimous verdict against J&J, finding them liable for all claims. The resulting judgment awarded $550 million in compensatory damages, equating to $25 million per plaintiff, atop a staggering $4.14 billion punitive damage penalty, clearly signaling the jury’s stance on the matter.


Talcum Powder Lawsuits: A Review of Recent Developments

The magnitude of the verdict in Ingham was remarkable. Previous talcum powder litigation yielded smaller sums, but the $4.6 billion award in this case was unprecedented.

J&J’s Challenge and Subsequent Verdict Reduction

After the 2018 trial verdict, J&J contested the decision, deeming the proceedings to be significantly flawed. Their appeal in June 2020, encompassed a comprehensive list of legal disputes. Nevertheless, the Missouri Court of Appeals refuted most of J&J’s assertions. Nonetheless, the court did conclude that J&J could not be held under personal jurisdiction in Missouri with regard to 17 of the 22 plaintiffs.

This led to a reduction of punitive damages from $4.14 billion to $1.6 billion and compensatory damages from $550 million to $500 million, thus decreasing the entire award from the 2018 trial from $4 billion to $2.1 billion. Despite the appellate court’s decision, J&J sought to escalate the matter to the Missouri Supreme Court, which declined to review the case.

Implications of the Missouri Loss and the Path Forward

The Missouri Court of Appeals’ affirmation of the majority of the jury’s award was soon followed by J&J’s disclosure of a significant settlement. Last month: J&J agreed to a $100 million settlement to resolve about 1,000 claims within the talcum powder MDL (Multi-District Litigation).

Stay Updated

The legal team at Pusch & Nguyen will continue to provide updates on the developments of the ongoing talcum powder lawsuits.


Talcum Powder Litigation Status

This marked the first time that J&J indicated that it was willing to consider the mass settlement of the talcum powder cases. Before this announcement, J&J and its lawyers had been very defiant in their posture. It seems evident that the crushing $2 billion loss in Missouri was the final blow that may have broken the company’s resolve in this litigation.

Even after the 1,000 cases that are part of the recent settlement, there are still almost 2,000 pending federal court cases in the MDL and hundreds more in state courts. At this point, everyone hopes for another mass global settlement announcement in the talcum powder litigation now that the bankruptcy nonsense is in the rearview mirror.

Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits in the Camp Lejeune Litigation

Ovarian cancer is also linked to processed foods.

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