After executing a “Texas Two-Step” that allowed them to split off their talc lawsuit liability to a shell company, then placing that shell company into bankruptcy in North Carolina, Johnson & Johnson are having their bankruptcy case returned to New Jersey.
The move comes on the heels of a decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Craig Whitley who declared a 60-day stay on talcum powder litigation against Johnson & Johnson. This stay applies to all lawsuits filed against the subsidiary, as well as 38,000 lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson itself.
Critics of the stay argue that it gives Johnson & Johnson an unfair level of protection against lawsuits, effectively gaining all the protections of Chapter 11 bankruptcy without having to declare bankruptcy. Initially, Judge Whitley had excluded the non-bankrupt Johnson & Johnson from the lawsuit protection, but after being offered more evidence, extended the bankruptcy protection to the parent company as well.
Johnson & Johnson’s attorneys have not been entirely pleased, however. The attorneys representing the bankrupt subsidiary LTL Management strongly preferred keeping the litigation in North Carolina under Whitley, whom they called the leading expert on their Texas Two-Step strategy. One Johnson & Johnson bankruptcy attorney, Greg Gordon, said the change of venue could give critics an opportunity to block the whole procedure because New Jersey federal law may be more favorable to plaintiffs.
If you or a loved one have developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder, you may be entitled to pursue a claim. In order to join the mass tort lawsuits already active, you will need a mass torts attorney. An experienced mass torts attorney can advocate for your case and even withdraw you from a settlement that is not in your best interest.
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