Minerals Technologies’ subsidiary Barretts Minerals has announced its decision to exit the talc business amidst growing talc-related litigation. The specialty minerals company is exploring structural alternatives, including potential sales of talc assets, to facilitate its decision.
Barretts Minerals has formulated active mine sites and claims in Montana, alongside manufacturing facilities in Montana and Texas. However, they have decided to pull out of the market in light of rising litigation related to talc products.
Recently, major litigation has developed involving talc products. In April, a bankruptcy judge put Johnson & Johnson under protection from jury trials for almost 40,000 pending lawsuits related to talc. J&J’s subsidiary company LTL Management LLC had the same talc-related trial protection previously.
Judge Michael Kaplan of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Trenton, New Jersey extended the freeze on jury trials for J&J through mid-June. This move is in favor of LTL Management LLC while it moves through bankruptcy. Kaplan has frozen jury trials in tort litigation asserting that J&J’s talc products cause cancer, which the company denies.
In response to rising talc-related litigation, Minerals Technologies and Barretts Minerals have decided to exit the market. This decision includes a consideration of structural alternatives, including sales of their talc assets.