Additional developments have transpired in the the Imerys Talc bankruptcy proceedings since Imerys commenced an adversary proceeding in the Chapter 11 case against Cyprus Mines Corp. and Cyprus Amax Minerals Co. earlier this month over Cyprus’ right to use certain insurance policies in the defense of talc-related asbestos lawsuits.
On March 20, 2109, Cyprus went on the offensive by filing a motion seeking standing to pursue a temporary restraining order and injunction, arguing that the automatic stay that currently only protects Cyprus from the litigation of hundreds of pending asbestos lawsuits should extend to Cyprus as well.
The granting of this motion, Cyprus argued, would prevent further financial harm to Imerys and its bankruptcy estate. For example, without an automatic stay, Cyprus would pass on any defense and judgment costs in the pending suits to the Imerys bankruptcy estate through the filing of administrative expense claims. Cyprus noted in the motion that Cyprus and Imerys have an “identity of interest,” stemming from Imerys’ agreement to assume and pay any talc-related liabilities incurred by Cyprus.
The subject of the lawsuits against the two entities relate to the harm caused by asbestos allegedly contained in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, of which Imerys talc was a component.
The deadline to object to the Cyprus motion falls on April 3, 2019 with a hearing date still to be determined.