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U.S. Congressional Panel asks Johnson & Johnson to Submit Bankruptcy Documents 

A U.S. congressional panel has asked Johnson & Johnson to provide it with all documents related to the company’s plans to put its talc liabilities into bankruptcy.Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform subcommittee on economic and consumer policy, wrote that the panel is trying to learn how plans may affect people who have said the company’s baby powder harmed them.

Krishnamoorthi also asked Johnson & Johnson to turn over documents showing how much funding it would provide to the new entity. The level of funding could determine payouts for victims.The company faces legal actions from tens of thousands of plaintiffs, including women suffering from ovarian cancer and others with mesothelioma, alleging that its baby powder and other talc products contained asbestos and caused cancer.

The company said in a statement that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc has not decided on any specific course of action in this prosecution other than to continue to defend the safety of talc and litigate these cases in the tort system, as the pending trials demonstrate. The statement did not address the subcommittee’s request for documents.

The House subcommittee held hearings on carcinogens in baby powder in 2019 and has heard from people suffering from mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.The plaintiff’s attorneys filed a fresh legal challenge intended to prevent Johnson & Johnson from pursuing bankruptcy for its baby powder liabilities.They asked a Delaware judge overseeing a separate bankruptcy involving talc supplier, Imerys, to prohibit the maneuver, arguing it would evade obligations J&J has to Imerys.

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