New Jersey bankruptcy judge postponed a decision on whether Johnson & Johnson can be sheltered by the litigation pause for its bankrupt talc spinoff for two weeks after tort claimants asked for more time to wait for a district court ruling on the case.
At a virtual status conference U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan said because spinoff LTL Management won’t be harmed by another two weeks of the status quo he would grant the request by the two talc claimants committees to push the hearing on the stay back from its prior scheduled date to at least the end of next week.
LTL was spun off from Johnson & Johnson — receiving the company’s talc liabilities, including more than 38,000 personal injury claims — and put into Chapter 11 in a North Carolina bankruptcy court in October.
The filing drew fire from cancer patients who say J&J is attempting to steer their claims that they developed cancer from asbestos-tainted baby powder — which the company denies — away from juries and into the bankruptcy claims process. They asked the court to reject a motion to include Johnson & Johnson in the automatic legal stay granted to LTL under the Bankruptcy Code.