Se habla español


Imerys SA Agrees to Sell Off Assets to Pay Plaintiffs in Talc Lawsuit

Home » Imerys SA Agrees to Sell Off Assets to Pay Plaintiffs in Talc Lawsuit
June 09, 2020
Edward Smith

Six Years of Lawsuits May End for Imerys as Settlement Nears Completion

Imerys SA, a leading supplier of talc to Johnson & Johnson, decided to sell off its talc mines in North America. This move was made to finance a settlement involving 14,000 individuals who developed cancer after using talc-based powders. It will also cover future cases. The sale will end six years of legal fighting over the company’s role since it supplied the talc said to contain asbestos to J&J. This development further advances the changes surrounding the sale and use of talc-based powders, including J&J’s decision to eliminate sales in the United States. 

Auction of Three Units

The plan involves three units that sought bankruptcy protection in 2019. These include Imerys America, Imerys Vermont, and Imerys Canada. The units will be sold in an auction, and the proceeds will be entered into a trust. The funds will be used to compensate those injured by talc-based powders. In return, the plaintiffs’ lawsuits will be dropped. Imerys’s parent company in Paris did not ask for bankruptcy protection. 

Lawsuits in Talc-Based Powders

Both Johnson & Johnson and Imerys have been targeted in lawsuits since 2014. Some of the lawsuits ended in large verdicts. In 2018, a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, a group of 22 women, ordered J&J to pay $4.7 billion. Imerys was named in the lawsuit and offered $5.5 million to settle the claims against them. 

The women contended that the asbestos in the talc-based powder led to cancer. Johnson & Johnson denied these claims. They say that after testing their product over the years, the claims are incorrect. However, claimants say that the company falsely marketed their products, saying they were safe for consumer use. They did this knowing that asbestos was found in their talc-based powders. 

Resolving Tort Claims

In mass tort cases, the sale of assets has become one way of resolving mounting costs for a company. Imerys decided that it was unable to handle the claims financially as well as disputes it had with J&J’s responsibility because the company could not afford to continue legal disputes.

Other retailers have used bankruptcy to settle cases against them. For instance, Perdue Pharma LP entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019. It proposed a $10 billion dollar asset sale to settle numerous lawsuits against the company. The lawsuits were aimed against its drug Oxycontin. Their plan has not been accepted in all states.

How the Imerys Plan Differs

The Imerys plan is different from that of Purdue in that officials met with representatives of those suing the company. This ended in a deal that satisfied both parties. However, the plan is contingent on the amount the sales bring in at the auction. The company also agreed to waive any claim it had to insurance that would cover the losses it incurs.

Future Cases Covered

The Imerys plan also has made provisions for people who contract cancer due to using talc-based powders in the future. This is important since not all cases have surfaced because many people do not know they have mesothelioma or ovarian cancer yet.

J&J’s Role

The plan calls for J&J to help pay money to users of baby powder who developed cancer. However, J&J continues to deny that their product caused their cancer. This could be a problem moving forward.

Sacramento Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawyer. Being injured by a product that has been marketed as safe is wrong and I can help. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. If it is easier for you, reach out to me online.

I’ve helped residents of Sacramento and the wider Northern California region in cases involving mesothelioma, product liability and various traumatic injuries.

I am a member of the following organizations:

If you would like to learn more about my practice, go to the pages listed below:

Photo Attribution:

:cd llo [cs 681]