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Business

BASF Faces Lawsuit Over Asbestos

by Marc S. Reisch
September 15, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 37

The Philadelphia federal appeals court has ordered BASF to stand trial on charges that it fraudulently denied compensation to asbestos-injured victims. Plaintiffs claim that BASF and its law firm lied about and destroyed evidence showing BASF sold talc containing the disease-causing mineral. BASF inherited the long-running dispute with its 2006 purchase of catalyst maker Engelhard, which operated a talc mine in Vermont between 1967 and 1983. BASF says it may appeal the ruling. According to a study by the nonprofit Rand Corp., asbestos compensation cost companies—including chemical firms such as W.R. Grace, Dow Chemical, and Eastman Chemical—$70 billion from the 1970s to 2002.

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