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$700 million settlement reached against Johnson & Johnson, W.Va. to receive over $5.9 million

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and a bipartisan coalition of 42 attorneys general reached a $700 million nationwide settlement to resolve allegations related to the marketing of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and body powder products that contained talc.

As part of the settlement, West Virginia will receive $5,994,747.98. This settlement is pending judicial approval.

The consent judgment filed in this lawsuit addresses allegations that Johnson & Johnson deceptively promoted and misled consumers in advertisements related to the safety and purity of some of its talc powder products. As part of the lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to stop the manufacture and sale of its baby powder and body powder products that contain talc in the United States.

Johnson & Johnson sold such products for more than 100 years. After the coalition of states began investigating, the company stopped distributing and selling these products in the United States and more recently ended global sales. While this lawsuit targeted the deceptive marketing of these products, numerous other lawsuits filed by private plaintiffs in class actions raised allegations that talc causes serious health issues including mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.

Under the consent judgment, Johnson & Johnson: 

  • Has ceased and not resumed the manufacturing, marketing, promotion, sale, and distribution of all baby and body powder products and cosmetic powder products that contain talcum powder, including, but not limited to, Johnson’s Baby Powder and Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower (“Covered Products”) in the United States.
  • Shall permanently stop the manufacture of any Covered Products in the United States either directly, or indirectly through any third party.
  • Shall permanently stop the marketing and promotion of any Covered Products in the United States either directly, or indirectly through any third party.
  • Shall permanently stop the sale or distribution of any Covered Products in the United States either directly, or indirectly through any third party. 

“This is a prime example that businesses should be up-front and honest about their products’ information, especially when the safety and wellbeing of consumers rely upon the accuracy and truthfulness of that information,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Let this be a warning to those who are promoting their products in a deceitful manner to mislead consumers: we will investigate and you will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.” 

Attorney General Morrisey joined the Texas-, Florida-, and North Carolina-led coalition with Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Read a copy of the complaint here.

Read a copy of the proposed consent judgment here.

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