May 1, 2015 — Colgate-Palmolive Co. has been ordered to pay $13 million to a woman who was diagnosed with cancer more than 40 years after she used “Cashmere Bouquet,” an asbestos-containing talcum powder cosmetic product.
The plaintiff, 73 year-old Judith Winkel, says she used Cashmere Bouquet nearly every day from 1961 until 1976. Each time she used the product, she said it created “a little cloud, like a dust cloud.” She also applied the powder to her skin.
The Los Angeles County jury deliberated for just two hours before unanimously finding Colgate-Palmolive 95% responsible for causing Judith Winkel’s mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer commonly associated with asbestos.
The jury ruled that Colgate-Palmolive knew or should have known about the risk of asbestos in their products. The company allegedly used talcum powder from three mines that were known to be contaminated with asbestos since the 1940s, until 1985. Although testing by the company confirmed asbestos contamination, consumers and the FDA were never informed.
The verdict could have been millions of dollars higher if the jury had the opportunity to award punitive damages, but Colgate-Palmolive settled with the plaintiff out of court before that part of the trial.
Talc is a mineral found in products like baby powder. However, it was not until the 1970s that federal health officials banned the use of asbestos-containing talc in cosmetic products. The problem is that asbestos is a carcinogen. Inhaling asbestos-containing talc is generally accepted as being able to cause cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
Do I have a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting talcum powder induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or ovarian cancer, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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