J&J vows to defend itself in talc, opioid lawsuits


Johnson & Johnson vowed to defend itself against lawsuits alleging that the company fueled the opioid crisis and that its namesake talc-based baby powder caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.

The iconic health-care company faces more than 14,000 lawsuits over its talc-based baby powder, as well as subpoenas from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. J&J Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk on a call discussing the company’s quarterly earnings results told analysts the baby powder is “safe” and the company acted “responsibly.”

“So we’ll continue to pursue defense of the company’s actions, as well as the product going forward,” he said.

J&J recorded a $190 million charge in the second quarter for defending itself in talc litigation. Wolk said the company has not set aside money for possible settlements or liability payments.

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