Imerys SA is pressing ahead in an effort to get out from under lawsuits over its U.S. mining operation, Imerys Talc America Inc., over the protests o
Imerys SA is pressing ahead in an effort to get out from under lawsuits over its U.S. mining operation, Imerys Talc America Inc., over the protests of health-care company Johnson & Johnson .
The Imerys talc-mining business, which supplied talc for Johnson’s Baby Powder, had been hit with lawsuits claiming the product caused cancer. It was placed into chapter 11 protection in 2019 and sold in 2020 for $223 million, with the proceeds earmarked for a trust to pay cancer claims. It is now trying to win court permission to seek creditor approval of its bankruptcy repayment plan.
Johnson & Johnson, which has denied liability and is fighting the lawsuits, says Imerys Talc’s bankruptcy is an improper effort to immunize the mining company’s French parent, and make it easier for cancer victims to sue Johnson & Johnson.
“J&J believes in the safety of its products,” said Ronit Berkovich, a lawyer for Johnson & Johnson.
Imerys SA didn’t respond to a request for comment.