Standing up to a massive corporation for its wrongdoing is no easy task. But our country’s trial attorneys and civil justice system help level the playing field for individuals who face these David and Goliath scenarios. It’s exactly how Johnson & Johnson, one of the biggest corporate Goliath figures in the world, is being taken to task for knowingly selling cancer-causing baby powder.
J&J faces more than 19,000 lawsuits alleging its talc-based powders were contaminated with asbestos and caused cancer — a danger that the company knew about for decades. Some plaintiffs have been victorious in holding the company accountable, and more seem to be following on their heels. In a case tried in June, a three-judge panel in Missouri ordered J&J to pay $2.1 billion to several plaintiffs. Then yesterday marked another monumental victory as the company agreed to pay more than $100 million to settle 1,000 more talc lawsuits. We commend the plaintiffs’ legal team on this outstanding win, and we look forward to seeing more cases against J&J cross the finish line.
Settlement planning can be complex when it involves multiple plaintiffs — many of whom have likely never been in litigation before. The settlement with J&J may bring some comfort to those who suffered from cancer or lost loved ones, but it could come with unforeseen challenges or confusion about how to make the best use of their settlement.
These concerns and issues are why we at Milestone do what we do. Our settlement planning experts create a long-term plan that is unique to each individual plaintiff. One of the strongest tools in our toolbox is the qualified settlement fund, which is an account that holds settlement proceeds as litigation concludes. It allows for more simplified and organized administration of the settlement by extending the amount of time available to plan past the release of the defendants from the litigation. It’s worth exploring whether cases involving J&J’s baby powder would benefit from a QSF.
A QSF is helpful as attorneys wade through the myriad of decisions involved in the disbursement of funds. A recent example is the Essure litigation in which its manufacturer, Bayer, agreed to pay $1.6 billion to settle the majority of U.S. claims. Milestone is providing qualified settlement fund administration services to women nationally involved in this litigation, so they have the time they need to plan for their incoming settlement money.
At Milestone, our experienced professionals can serve as a sophisticated co-administrator for any mass tort settlement that approaches. Consider engaging with experts who can handle the most important facets of QSF management and give it the personal attention you want and expect for your clients. Contact us today to learn more.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).