The once long-time talc supplier for pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson is reportedly considering selling its North American operations, among other strategic alternatives to restructure the company after a difficult year in the courts. Earlier this year, Imerys Talc USA filed for bankruptcy under the weight of thousands of talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuits in which it was enjoined with Johnson & Johnson, many of which produced multimillion dollar verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs.
The Paris-based company plans to work with a group of investment bank advisors on its next moves, according to a Reuters report on the subject. Any sale or restructure of the company would likely need a federal court’s approval, as the company faces potentially billions of dollars in liabilities linked to the estimated 14,000 talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuits it faces with Johnson & Johnson.
2019 has been an especially difficult year for Imerys Talc USA. In February, Imerys filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Delaware federal court, a few months after juries across the country handed down over $5 billion in total damages to plaintiffs who named Imerys Talc USA and Johnson & Johnson as defendants in asbestos cancer lawsuits. In May 2019, Imerys Talc USA temporarily closed a processing plant in New York state after detecting the presence of asbestos fibers in certain minerals processed at the facility.
Many of the talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc USA claim that the two are responsible for supplying and producing asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products to the public, including Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. Some of the lawsuits assert that Johnson & Johnson knew as far back as the 1970s about positive asbestos tests in talc supplied by Imerys but continued to produce and market the products without any warnings to innocent consumers.
Both asbestos and talc are naturally occurring minerals that can often be found side by side one another, an issue which can lead to cross contamination if precautions are not taken. Asbestos is directly linked to developing mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that commonly affects thin linings of tissue surrounding vital organs such as the lungs, heart, and abdomen. Although researchers around the globe are actively working on new treatments, there remains no cure for mesothelioma.
While nothing can undo a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis, the law gives victims the right to file asbestos cancer lawsuits against negligent companies responsible for the exposure. A mesothelioma lawsuit can recover compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and the pain and suffering of living with the disease.
Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.