BASF agrees to settle talc class action lawsuit for $72 million

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the German chemical company, BASF Schwarzheide GmbH in Schwarzheide, Germany, December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

(Reuters) - German chemical company BASF SE on Thursday agreed to pay $72.5 million to settle a class action fraud lawsuit over allegations its talc contained asbestos and caused lung injuries and cancer, court documents showed.

Under the agreement, compensation from the settlement fund can be received by those who filed a lawsuit against the company between March 1984 and March 2011 over asbestos-related injuries, but had their lawsuit dismissed or voluntarily dismissed it.

The settlement still has to be approved by a judge.

BASF does not admit any wrongdoing and maintains the allegations against it are unfounded and not true, according to Thursday’s filing in New Jersey federal court in Trenton.

The BASF litigation is separate from the roughly 19,400 talc lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson over allegations that asbestos in its talc powders causes cancer. J&J denies the allegations, saying its talc products are safe.

Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio