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As Talc Lawsuits Rise, J&J Supplier Seeks Bankruptcy

Following a multi-billion verdict in a talc case, a key supplier for Johnson & Johnson's baby powder filed for bankruptcy.

Imerys Talc America said it could not afford to defend itself from nearly 15,000 lawsuits over its talc mineral product. Last year, a jury awarded $4.69 billion to 22 women who said talc baby powder caused ovarian cancer.

In the talc litigation, it was a bellwether case for future cases. For the talc company, it was the beginning of the end.

It's a Perfect Time to Be a Corporate Do-Gooder

It can be hard to know when to be a do-gooder, especially for soulless corporations.

No one really expects corporations, businesses and other inanimate objects to have a real heart. But in times like these, it's a perfect time for them to do the right thing.

Recent news about a settlement between Ford Motor Co. and Mecum auto auctions finally brings an end to the second high-profile Ford GT500 case.

Although the full terms of the settlement are confidential, the automaker and auction house were able to reach an amicable resolution that involves a sizable donation to Ford's charitable arm, as well as an agreement to consult Ford before commencing another GT500 auction.

The recent wildfires that devastated California will have a lasting impact beyond the lives and homes destroyed. The company that is allegedly responsible for starting the Northern California Camp Fire, Pacific Gas and Electric, has stated its intention to declare bankruptcy due to the liabilities created by the wildfire's damage.

Declaring bankruptcy could leave investors and victims of wildfire taking severe financial losses, but as the company expressed, it may be the only way for the company to continue to operate. If the bankruptcy goes through, it would seem that creditors will likely be forced to take severe cuts, while customers bear the burden over the next few years due to rate hikes.

Companies Are Taking Action on Ocean Plastic Pollution

The Ocean Cleanup project -- a multi-national effort to take out an island of trash floating in the Pacific -- is failing.

It turns out the cleanup machine, a giant barrier that scoops up debris, has a problem. The rubbish was slipping out, and now it's broken. That happens when people and companies dump their trash into the ocean for generations. There's just too much.

But now companies are starting to take action to clean up plastic pollution. For example, Adidas is now making a shoe from recycled marine plastic in partnership with the non-profit Parley for the Oceans. Whether initiatives like this are done for PR reasons for out of genuine concern for the environment, it's sure to continue as a growing movement.

Goldman Sachs Lawyer Retires With Huge Nest Egg

"Save for retirement" is the mantra of every financial adviser.

Gregory Palm, general counsel at Goldman Sachs, doesn't need that advice. He is retiring with about $500 million in company stocks, dividends, and distributions.

That's what happens when you get in early on a going concern. At Goldman Sachs, no employee will ever hold so many shares again.

CBS on the Lookout for Viacom CEO

If the Viacom deal goes through, CBS reportedly wants a twofer for a CEO.

It may be premature -- because merger talks have been tabled -- but CBS is already talking to potential candidates about the job. The company wants someone who can run both companies.

The early start has something to do with the former chief executive at CBS. The board would like to put that one behind them as soon as possible.

Top 5 GC Hires in 2018

This past year has been a big one for GCs across the country. Quite a few got fired, stepped down, retired, or actual had to face consequences.

But just like in life, when the door closes for one GC, it opens for another. Below, you can read about five of the biggest GC hires in 2018.

CBS Fires Disgraced CEO, Denying His $120 Million Severance

CBS cut its losses by firing Leslie Moonves, the former chief executive who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault.

In firing Moonves "for cause," the company will deny him a $120 million severance package. CBS will also distance itself from the accusations that forced him to resign in September.

The disgraced media executive will not go quietly, however, because he said his sexual encounters were consensual. CBS may need some of that money for attorney's fees.

Tesla Names New General Counsel

Tesla has a new general counsel, Dane Butswinkas.

He will oversee the company's legal and government relations teams, and report directly to CEO Elon Musk. Butswinkas will take over from Todd Maron.

It is a curious move, since the outgoing Maron hasn't been general counsel that long and he was also Musk's personal lawyer at one time. But it is not that unusual because GC turnover has become the norm at Tesla.