CBS News reports that Johnson & Johnson has reached an agreement with 42 states to resolve claims that it misled consumers about the safety of its talc products. Under the agreement, Johnson & Johnson will pay $700 million and will stop making and selling all talc-containing products.

The settlement is relvant to this blog because litigation over Johnson & Johnson’s talc products has produced enormous punitive damages awards in California and elsewhere. For example,  Reuters recently reported that an Oregon jury awarded $60 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages to woman who claimed she developed mesothelioma from using Johnson & Johnson baby powder. Under Oregon’s split-recovery statute, 70 percent of the punitive damages will go to the state if the award survives posttrial and appellate review.

The settlement between Johnson & Johnson and the states will not prevent individual plaintiffs from continuing to pursue their claims.