Johnson & Johnson Talc Bankruptcy Could Destroy The Financial System
Separate underperforming assets from profitable ones undermines the entire credit system
Thursday, January 6, 2022 - Johnson & Johnson has billions of dollars in cash readily on hand, billions in cash flow every year, a triple-A credit rating, and makes drugs and vaccines that save thousands of lives every year. Despite being one of the most well-respected, financially healthy, and progressive medical technology companies in the world, Johnson & Johnson thinks they may go broke. The company has created a spin-off company called LTL management, placed its talcum powder liability within the new entity. The new company is seeking protection in the New Jersey bankruptcy court. The reason for the obscure financial maneuver is that billions of dollars are at risk from potential legal liabilities stemming from the iconic Johnson's Baby Powder being accused of causing ovarian cancer for women. Many of the cancer plaintiffs are African American women. Johnson & Johnson is accused of failing to warn women that if they used talcum powder on their genitals that particles of talc could make their way into the vagina, travel up through the Fallopian tubes, and become permanently lodged in the ovaries. Experts theorize that once in the ovaries, the dead-end of the female reproductive system, particles of talc could cause sufficient irritation and oxidative stress that would lead to ovarian cancer. Also, tens of thousands of women may have ovarian cancer from talc and not know it as the early and intermediate symptoms mask themselves as menstrual discomfort.
Legal challenges against enormous companies like Johnson & Johnson like talcum powder lawsuits have always provided the little guy with a means to hold them financially accountable for their negligence. The Texas-Two step legal maneuver could be the end. If the New Jersey bankruptcy judge grants the company's wish, any company could isolate their legal liabilities from the profits they have earned and leave those who have been injured out in the cold. What is incomprehensible, however, is that Johnson & Johnson continues to earn billions of dollars from talcum powder sales overseas in Europe, India, China, and elsewhere and that those revenues would be insulated from their talcum powder ovarian cancer plaintiffs. Tens of thousands of women with terminal ovarian cancer and the estates of those who have died would be forced to settle their claims for mere pennies on the dollar. If the New Jersey J&J bankruptcy maneuver is approved hundreds of thousands of future talcum powder cancer claims would be unable to sue the company also.
Financial experts think that the Johnson & Johnson talcum powder bankruptcy would enable corporations to bankrupt any part of their business in the future, including any debts that they may not want to or be able to pay. This, according to an article in NPR could have a devastating effect on the credit markets. "If you legitimize the Texas Two-Step procedure, I mean, that would just undermine, like, our entire financial system. ...because if Johnson & Johnson can do this to people who are suing it, it could potentially do the same thing to a company or a bank that it owes money to."