每日英語跟讀 Ep.K561: Johnson & Johnson's Unit Denied Bankruptcy Stay in Talc Lawsuit Appeal
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has lost its bid to stay in bankruptcy during its Supreme Court appeal over the use of bankruptcy to resolve thousands of lawsuits regarding its talc products. The subsidiary company, LTL Management, filed for bankruptcy to halt over 38,000 lawsuits alleging that J&J's talc products, including Baby Powder, were contaminated with asbestos. J&J maintains that its consumer talc products are asbestos-free and safe. However, in January, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled that neither LTL nor J&J had a legitimate need for bankruptcy protection, stating they were not in "financial distress." LTL's Chapter 11 case is now set to be dismissed.
嬌生公司（Johnson & Johnson, or J&J）在最高法院上訴期間，利用破產來解決有關其爽身粉產品的數千件訴訟案，目前已失去繼續聲稱破產的機會。嬌生的子企業LTL管理公司申請破產，以停止38,000多起指稱嬌生公司爽身粉產品（包括嬰兒爽身粉）受到石棉污染的訴訟。嬌生公司堅持認為，其消費型爽身粉產品不含石棉，是安全的。然而，今年1月，位於費城的美國第三巡迴上訴法院裁定，LTL和嬌生公司都沒有破產保護的合法需要，稱它們沒有陷入「財務危機」。因此，LTL的破產保護案件（第11章案件）現在已被駁回。
The bankruptcy halted numerous talc litigations, including about 38,000 cases consolidated in a New Jersey federal court proceeding, which will resume once LTL's bankruptcy is dismissed. David Molton, the attorney for the official committee of talc plaintiffs in the bankruptcy case, stated that "victims of J&J’s talc products are now closer to returning to courts and juries of their peers to seek justice and rightful compensation."
J&J has faced $3.5 billion in verdicts and settlements before the bankruptcy filing, with 22 women awarded a judgment of over $2 billion in one case, according to bankruptcy court records. However, J&J has prevailed in other cases, winning defense verdicts in 16 trials and succeeding in several appeals that either reversed or reduced plaintiffs' initial wins.
LTL argued that its bankruptcy offers a way to settle all talc claims fairly and efficiently, rather than subjecting the company and plaintiffs to the "lottery-like results" yielded by past trials. Meanwhile, J&J announced in 2020 that it would stop selling its talc Baby Powder in the U.S. and Canada due to what it called "misinformation" about the product's safety and later announced its intent to discontinue the product worldwide in 2023.
LTL主張，其破產提供了一種公平有效地解決所有爽身粉索賠的方法，而不是將公司和原告置於過去判決產生的“抽獎式結果”的情況。與此同時，嬌生在2020年宣布，由於有關產品安全的“錯誤信息”，公司將終止在美國和加拿大銷售嬰兒爽身粉，並宣布其打算在2023年完全終止該產品的全球販售。Reference article: https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/johnson-johnson-unit-loses-bid-stay-bankruptcy-during-supreme-court-appeal-2023-03-31/