The same judge who approved Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) plan to shift its talc product litigation responsibilities to a subunit that files for bankruptcy has granted an expedited appeal of his own order, Reuters reported.
In February, US Bankruptcy Judge Michael B. criticized Kaplan’s face after J&J’s ruling scheme, dubbed the “Texas Two-Step,” is not an abuse of the bankruptcy system. The bankruptcy judge ruled that J & J plan to create a subsidiary to keep its commitments talc and then the sub-file for Chapter 11 protection was not an abuse of the bankruptcy code in the United States and instead was the best way for applicants to go.
Now, on March 30, Judge Kaplan has allowed plaintiffs who alleged J&J’s asbestos-contaminated talc products caused them to develop cancer to appeal his decision to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. the United States.
In granting the expedited appeal, Judge Kaplan said: “Obviously, this has an impact on the decisions and potential restructuring beyond what is argued before the court.”
The controversy over the two-step J&J in Texas has become a rallying cry for lawmakers to change the bankruptcy system.
Just days after J & J has created a sub-unit called in October LTL Management through a merger that divides to hold its responsibilities for talc, the new LLC declared bankruptcy.
Judge Kaplan explained its decision to approve the Management LTL bankruptcy because it would result in faster resolution of tens of thousands of cases of cancer being talc against J & J. But critics allege his endorsement saves wealthy companies like J&J from having to face their accusers in court.
LTL Management requested that the expedited appeal be reconsidered and that the appeal be adjudicated first in a US District Court. Judge Kaplan rejected LTL’s argument, saying an appeal to the United States District Court level would ultimately delay the outcome of the case. By immediately sending the case to the circuit court, the appeal will be heard by the second highest court in the country before the Supreme Court.
More than 38,000 talc cancer claims against J&J are pending. Talc plaintiffs filed claims for ovarian cancer or mesothelioma. Some claimants have requested separate panels for each type of cancer claim. However, Judge Kaplan also ruled on March 30 that only one panel of plaintiffs should be present during the bankruptcy appeal.
Before filing for bankruptcy LTL Management, J & J would pay 3.5 billion dollars in verdicts and settlements on talc, including a decision in 2018 in Missouri that has granted 2.1 billion dollars to 22 plaintiffs for their claims against cancer.