Bloomberg Law
Feb. 15, 2022, 6:22 PM

J&J Talc Suits Threatened Stellar Credit Rating, Treasurer Says

Steven Church
Steven Church
Bloomberg News

Johnson & Johnson adopted its controversial strategy for battling cancer claims tied to baby powder after a $2 billion court loss sparked concern that the company’s perfect credit rating could be damaged by the growing number of similar lawsuits, a retired J&J treasurer testified.

Michelle Ryan exchanged emails with credit rating firms previewing the company’s bankruptcy options last year before the court strategy was implemented, according to records shown Tuesday in a federal trial on whether that tactic is legitimate. Through the maneuver, J&J shunted all its baby-powder liabilities into a separate unit and then put that entity in bankruptcy. ...

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