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Brian Mann

Johnson & Johnson is drawing criticism after using a controversial bankruptcy maneuver to block roughly 38,000 lawsuits linked to claims that its talc baby powder was contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos.

The health products giant used a quirk of Texas state law to spin off a new company called LTL, then dumped all its asbestos-related liabilities — including the avalanche of lawsuits — into the new firm.

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About 46,000 public employees in New York City still are not vaccinated - many of them first responders. And city officials now say they have just 10 days to get the shots.

Here's NPR's Brian Mann.

Updated October 14, 2021 at 8:43 AM ET

In a surprise ruling late Wednesday a federal judge in New York allowed work to continue on implementation of a controversial bankruptcy plan for Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin.

Internal documents cited during the opening session of a landmark opioid trial in Cleveland suggest the nation's biggest pharmacy chains were warned by employees about the dispensing of highly addictive pain pills.

Mark Lanier, lead attorney for two Ohio counties suing CVS, Giant Eagle, Walgreens and Walmart, read the documents into the court record as part of his opening statement.

"Walgreens is not verifying the legitimacy of suspicious orders, which could lead to the fulfilment of an illicit order," said one Walgreens memo cited by Lanier.

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