While multi-million-dollar mesothelioma lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder have been capturing headlines, litigation against the company’s talc provider Imerys led the smaller organization to file for bankruptcy last year. This week they announced that they will be selling their North American operations and using the assets to settle more than 14,000 lawsuits against them.
Imerys SA Mines Talc Named in Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Imerys has been named in the lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson by victims diagnosed with both malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. The company was the sole provider of the talc used in the popular baby powder product that victims blame for their illness. The company agreed to place all proceeds from the sale of Imerys Talc America, Imerys Talc Vermont an Imerys Talc Canada into a trust that will be used to compensate for talc victims.
In exchange for the establishment of the trust, 14,000 mesothelioma and ovarian cancer lawsuits currently pending against the company will be dropped and the company will be able to come out of their Chapter 11 bankruptcy status. The plan also makes arrangements for those who may be diagnosed in the future.
Imerys Denies That Talc Causes Mesothelioma
Both Imerys and Johnson & Johnson deny talc’s role in the development of malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, but juries hearing evidence from expert witnesses have discounted their denials. In one case a group of 22 victim plaintiffs were awarded billions of dollars.
Included in the evidence presented by victims were internal Johnson & Johnson memos dating back to the 1970s that indicated knowledge of the presence of asbestos in the talc. The company was also accused of marketing its products in a way that specifically encouraged minority women to purchase and use it on their genitals, which many scientists have linked to ovarian cancer.
The Imerys settlement came just days before Johnson & Johnson announced that it would no longer sell its baby powder product in North America. Victims of asbestos exposure arising from the use of the product can get more information about the resources available to them from the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net. Call us today at 1-800-692-8608.