Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) appears to be reaching deep into its coffers to settle a clutch of lawsuits. According to an article published on Monday by Bloomberg and citing “people with knowledge of the pacts,” the healthcare giant has agreed to pay over $100 million to settle more than 1,000 lawsuits over its Johnson’s Baby Powder.
The lawsuits, some of which stretch back several years, allege that repeated use of the talc-based powder caused cancer. Some claimants say that the product is tainted with asbestos, a substance notorious for causing the illness.
That $100 million would only be an initial outlay; according to regulatory filings, the total number of lawsuits pending is around 20,000. Several have already been resolved, with substantial awards. One, completed in 2018, saw a court ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7 billion, although this was significantly reduced to $2.1 billion on appeal. Other lawsuits have