From the Montana Department of Justice:

Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced today that Montana will receive over $3.5 million in a multi-state settlement with Johnson & Johnson to resolve allegations that the company manufactured, marketed, and knowingly sold baby powder tainted with carcinogenic asbestos.

Montana will receive $3,537,515 from the total $700,000,000 settlement. Johnson & Johnson has also agreed to cease manufacturing, marketing, promoting, selling, and distributing all baby, body, and cosmetic powder products, including through third parties.

“Johnson & Johnson violated Montana’s consumer protection laws and put the health and safety of consumers at risk. The company’s actions are unacceptable, and I’m glad we could help to hold them accountable,” Attorney General Knudsen said.

The settlement holds Johnson & Johnson accountable for manufacturing and selling talc body powder products while marketing them as safe for daily use, despite knowing the asbestos in the products could cause cancer. The company continued to produce, sell, and market the product for decades, fully aware of its harmful effects.

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In his complaint against Johnson & Johnson, Attorney General Knudsen stated that the company’s actions violated Montana’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Acts. The company misrepresented the sponsorship, approval, characteristics, benefits, or qualities of their talc powder products and falsely claimed their safety.

Montana is scheduled to begin receiving payments from the settlement on July 30, 2024, with distributions continuing through 2027. The funds will be dispersed at the discretion of Attorney General Knudsen and can be used for restitution and grants for the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Montana.

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