Ken Feinberg evaluates Talc’s bankruptcy claim ‘under the gun’

Kenneth Feinberg Kenneth Feinberg

Ken Feinberg told a bankruptcy judge on Tuesday he was “under fire” to complete a report estimating the total value and volume of cancer claims over Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder. .

The U.S. Supreme Bankruptcy Judge, Michael Kaplan, commissioned Feinberg as a court-appointed estimating expert to prepare the report.

The report also alleges that talcum powder caused ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after electing to proceed with the presumption process in the Chapter 11 litigation of LTL Management, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. It relates to the amount and volume of future claims.

In his first update since taking office, Feinberg told Kaplan on Tuesday that he had a “very hard time” finding an economic modeling firm, eventually deciding on advisory firm StoneTurn. He said that even locating an epidemiologist had “not been very successful,” and that search is ongoing.

Mr Feinberg said 265 law firms had provided him with data on individual talc customers, but 230 had not. I have asked you to provide information about the lawsuit, such as the filing case and the medical evidence for the disease at issue.

“It’s not an easy process,” says Feinberg, who works with Al Togut of Togut, Segal & Segal in New York. “We’re getting help from everyone, but with so many law firms and lawsuits, it’s not easy.”

Still, he praised the work of both attorneys and remained optimistic that a final report would be filed by the end of March.The parties have failed to reach a settlement.

“Everybody really hopes that the report never sees the light of day,” Feinberg told Kaplan. I would like to.”

‘It smells awful of despair’

LTL Management, a subsidiary formed by Johnson & Johnson through a merger process known as “two-step” in Texas, last year filed for Chapter 11 protection. On February 25, Kaplan denied Talc plaintiffs’ motions to dismiss the action, allowing LTL management to extend the automatic suspension to include claims against Johnson & Johnson.

However, on December 16, LTL Management filed its own lawsuit, alleging fraud against Dr. Jacqueline Moline, a prominent plaintiff expert in a lawsuit linking Johnson & Johnson’s talc products to mesothelioma.

At Tuesday’s hearing, the two filed a complaint, and Moline said in her 2019 report that at least five of the 33 people who linked cosmetic talc to mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos from other sources. He claims that he did not disclose that he had

In a Sept. 13 order, a federal judge in North Carolina identified one of them as filing a worker’s compensation claim for asbestos exposure from other sources.

Talc plaintiffs’ official commission attorney, David Morton of Brown Rudnick, N.Y., questioned the position and jurisdiction of the complaint, calling it a “witch hunt” against Moline and calling it “misdirection and misdirection.” “A classic defensive tactic of attack.” Feinberg appreciated the talc settlement and claim.

“It really smells of despair,” he said.

Alison Brown, a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York and one of LTL Management’s attorneys who filed the complaint, told Kaplan that there was no merit to the allegations. It supports her client’s view that no, and no one has disputed the allegations.

“I’ve heard the complaint mention distraction, misdirection, even witch-hunts, but I haven’t heard that the allegations in the complaint are untrue,” she said. When judges discovered cover-ups, when they discovered published information that was not true, and when that information was withheld from the defendants, our ability to cross-examine was hindered. I never heard you stand up and say that the officer was wrong, Dr. Moline.

Feinberg did not mention Tuesday’s fraud lawsuit, but was aware of the scientific controversy in the Talc case.

“The science is disputed,” he told Kaplan. “It’s contested by plaintiffs. It’s contested by FCR. [future claimants’ representative]It is contested by the debtor. And it is an integral part of the final report that the estimating expert may issue. ”

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