Americans have long associated the Johnson & Johnson brand with safety, but in recent years the company’s pristine reputation has become tarnished to say the least. There have been tens of thousands of accusations that the company’s talc products cause cancer and they have lost huge verdicts to victims in court. But in early February, even worse accusations surfaced in a Reuters report which revealed that Johnson & Johnson has spent more than a year hatching a plot to avoid compensating cancer patients for the damage they have done. This is yet another despicable corporate maneuver that cannot be tolerated. If you have been negatively impacted by a J&J talc product, take action immediately. The New York product liability attorneys at Buttafuoco & Associates will fight for your rights and help you recover the damages you are owed.
How “Project Plato” Was Born
Despite over a decade of lost lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson has continued to insist that their talc products are safe. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of victims were being diagnosed with deadly and rare cancers like mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. As investigations unfolded, it was discovered that the company had known their talc products contained asbestos, a known cancer-causing agent, since the mid-1950s. Yet they continued selling the product and jeopardizing innocent lives. Over the years, billions of dollars in lawsuits have been brought against the company. While J&J has continued to insist that they will fight allegations in court, in reality company leaders have secretly been working on a plan designed to prevent compensation to victims since April of 2021.
Under the scheme known as “Project Plato,” J&J made the decision to take advantage of a controversial Texas law familiarly referred to as the “Texas Two-Step.” Under the law, a company is legally allowed to split into two separate entities, after which they can pass along pending lawsuits to just one of these entities. The split usually results in one large company and a smaller subsidiary, which then takes on the transferred lawsuits. Once the smaller company absorbs the cases, it files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which effectively lets them off the hook for payments.
In the case of J&J, they created a small subsidiary company known as LTL Management, which filed for bankruptcy a mere three days after it had been formed. Bankruptcy protection laws immediately halt litigation, which means the plaintiffs, many of whom are entitled to multi-million dollar settlements from J&J, must now compete to be paid from the small subsidiary’s settlement fund. What’s worse, prior to Project Plato’s launch, J&J was on the hook for around $3.5 billion in settlements and verdicts. If LTL Management’s bankruptcy is allowed under law, 38,000 cases (plus future cases) will have to compete for a significantly reduced amount of $2 billion. Plaintiffs with pending cases have requested that a judge refuse this bad faith bankruptcy filing, and are waiting for results.
The problem here is clear: the law, when misused, allows corporate giants to avoid compensating victims who have been seriously endangered by their products. It also sets a dangerous precedent, where corporations remain untouchable and cannot be held accountable, even for this type of immoral and unlawful wrongdoing.
Fighting Big Corporations
At Buttafuoco & Associates, our talc cancer lawyers in New York have been fighting for the little guy against big, unethical corporations for over 40 years. We have always believed in treating clients like family and helping them receive the settlement they deserve.
If you are facing cancer and believe it may have been caused by a talc product, don’t wait. Get in touch with Dan Buttafuoco today. He can help you assess whether or not you have a case and assist you in better understanding the process.
Our New York talc cancer lawyers are here to help. Call now for a free consultation at 1-800-NOW-HURT.