Lawyers for talcum powder plaintiffs argued in federal appeals court on Monday to reverse a bankruptcy court’s decision that halted nearly 40,000 lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson.

Jeffrey Lamken, of MoloLamken in Washington, D.C., representing the Official Committee of Talc Claimants, said the Chapter 11 case of the subsidiary, LTL Management, had no valid purpose because it violated core principles of bankruptcy law—most notably, that creditors, like his clients, who claim Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused cancer, should get priority over equity holders.