UPDATE Jan. 24, 2024: Johnson & Johnson confirmed it has reached a tentative settlement for $700 million with 42 states’ attorneys general.

Johnson & Johnson will pay $700 million to settle an investigation by more than 40 U.S. states over the company’s talcum powder marketing, according to a report by Bloomberg News published on Monday. The company’s legal team is still finalizing the details with the state attorneys general. However, both sides have reportedly agreed on the amount.

The Bloomberg report cited sources close to the negotiations, saying the settlement would prevent lawsuits alleging that Johnson & Johnson concealed links between the talc in its powder and various cancers.

Settlement Follows Two Failed J&J Bankruptcy Attempts

Johnson & Johnson has previously made two attempts to limit its financial liability in talc cases, and courts rejected both. The company set aside roughly $400 million in 2023 to settle the U.S. consumer protection cases from the states.

Only two states, New Mexico and Mississippi, have filed consumer protection lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson over talc marketing. However, 42 states and the District of Columbia launched a joint investigation into Johnson & Johnson’s talc marketing.

In addition, several state attorneys general — including those from Texas, Washington, North Carolina and Arizona — requested additional information from Johnson & Johnson about its marketing practices, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Limited Effect on 53,000 Individual Lawsuits

The company faces another 53,733 talc lawsuits in New Jersey federal court from people claiming Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products caused their cancers. Most of those lawsuits are from women who developed ovarian cancer. Some claim that plaintiffs developed mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by asbestos.

Lawsuits claim Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its talcum products were contaminated with asbestos, posing a cancer risk, but took steps to hide the fact. Johnson & Johnson has repeatedly said its talc products are safe and don’t cause cancer.

The new agreement will not affect individual lawsuits. However, it is likely to offer a considerable level of protection to the company against any future legal actions. It may help in resolving lawsuits already filed against Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson had previously offered to settle all current and future talc claims for $8.9 billion as part of the bankruptcy filing of one of its units. In 2018, a Missouri Court ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women and their families. The plaintiffs claimed that the company’s talc products caused their cancers. Johnson & Johnson appealed the verdict, but the Supreme Court upheld it.