James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C. has represented thousands of people with asbestos-related diseases and is currently handling cases where women developed cancers after using talcum based products such as baby powder. These areas of litigation overlap, because the talcum powder used in baby powders, shower powders and cosmetics was often contaminated with asbestos. In some cases, people developed mesothelioma, a cancer almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, after using talcum powder products for many years.
Many lawsuits involving exposure to talcum powder have been brought against companies that sell talcum powder products, such as Johnson & Johnson, as well as companies that mined talcum powder, and supplied it to Johnson & Johnson. Three companies related to mining talcum recently filed for bankruptcy, citing the rising costs of settlement and defense, a recent multibillion verdict against Johnson & Johnson, and the refusal of Johnson & Johnson to honor certain agreements it had to indemnify its talcum powder suppliers.
On February 13, 2019, Imerys Talc Vermont, Imerys Talc Canada, and Imerys Talc America Inc. filed for bankruptcy in Delaware. According to Mark Lanier, a Texas-based lawyer involved in talcum litigation, the Imerys bankruptcies should not affect the talcum litigation because plaintiff attorneys have always targeted the companies that sold talcum powder products, like Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive, rather than companies that mined talcum.
The Imerys companies plan to use bankruptcy to set up trusts that can be used to pay persons injured by their products. According to Giorgio La Motta, President of all three Imerys companies, all of the Imerys locations will continue to operate as usual during the bankruptcy, and Imerys employees will experience no changes in their roles, wages, and benefits.
Meanwhile, talcum powder litigation will continue against companies like Johnson & Johnson, and Colgate-Palmolive, with more than two dozen cases scheduled for trial in 2019.
If you or a loved one has been injured by exposure to asbestos or talcum powder, call us at 304-347-5050 (local) or 877-341-2595 (toll-free) for a free initial consultation. You may also contact us through our website, www.jfhumphreys.com.
Jeff Feeley, Margaret Cronin Fisk & Steven Church, Bloomberg, “Imerys Talc Unit Files Bankruptcy as Cancer-Suit Risk Soars,” 2/13/19
Tina Bellon & Tom Hals, Reuters, “Johnson & Johnson Supplier Seeks Bankruptcy Lawsuits,” 2/13/19
Ted McDermott, “Parent Company of Three Forks Talc Mill Files for Bankruptcy,” Montana Standard, 2/14/19