Durbin Applauds Appellate Court Ruling In Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Case

Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling is a victory for consumers and follows repeated calls from Senator Durbin, Senate Judiciary Committee for Johnson & Johnson to be held accountable to cancer victims

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement regarding the Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ rejection of the bankruptcy filing by a shell company created by Johnson & Johnson to dodge nearly 40,000 legal claims related to harm caused by its talc products:  

“Today’s ruling is a step towards justice for the tens of thousands of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma victims who have been denied their day in court by Johnson & Johnson’s attempted manipulation of the bankruptcy system. Johnson & Johnson is trying to evade accountability to victims of asbestos-tainted baby powder by pursuing the ‘Texas Two-Step,’ a cynical maneuver involving corporate reshuffling and exploitation of a loophole in our bankruptcy laws. Johnson & Johnson is just one of several major corporations that are actively trying to use the bankruptcy system to dodge responsibility for harm done to consumers. While I will continue to seek legislative solutions, this decision is a powerful blow against their efforts.”

Durbin has repeatedly condemned Johnson & Johnson’s attempt to avoid accountability and exploit loopholes in bankruptcy law. In February 2022, he spoke on the Senate floor and in a subcommittee hearing. Durbin also has led bicameral letters to Johnson & Johnson leadership, and he cosponsored the Nondebtor Release Prohibition Act of 2021, which would prevent the use of the “Texas Two-Step” maneuver.