Two lawsuits were filed by individuals with mesothelioma who had no other asbestos exposure, except for baby powder products. Talc is a mineral commonly used in baby powder, and is often contaminated with asbestos fibers found in the same mining deposits.
New York courts have recently denied two companies’ requests to dismiss mesothelioma victims’ lawsuits, giving an initial win for these specific sufferers of the malignant cancer.
In two separate cases, courts in New York state ruled against dismissing the lawsuits of victims who alleged their mesothelioma was the result of asbestos in talc baby powder products. Most consumers are aware that mesothelioma is the result of exposure, typically through the workplace, to asbestos products.
Asbestos is best known as a component in producing fire-resistant and insulating items, used in a variety of home and industrial settings. Yet one female victim in New York, with no work history with asbestos, was diagnosed at age 76 with mesothelioma.
While working to identify the source of her disease, a medical history was obtained, in which she described regular use of baby powder, dating back to the 1940’s. In that case, Johnson and Johnson argued in New York County for summary judgment in the case. But the judge ruled that the case would proceed.
In another case in New York, a victim diagnosed with mesothelioma had used a Colgate Palmolive baby powder product.
The two corporations that sold the product argued that they could not be sued in New York state, because their operations did not take place in New York, but in Delaware. In that case, the judge ruled that their businesses did operate in the state, by virtue of selling and distributing the product regularly in New York, regardless of their headquarters, and that the lawsuit would go forward.
Mesothelioma patients often discover the disease many years after exposure. In cases where talc products were believed to be the cause, and the victim has no other history of asbestos exposure, the contamination of talc personal hygiene products has been coming to light.
Talc and asbestos occur in nearby geological deposits, which is why the talc is sometimes contaminated with asbestos. Because talc products like baby powder are considered cosmetics, they do not have to undergo Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. As such, the asbestos levels were unknown for decades.
Mesothelioma is currently treated with a combination of radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and surgery. Once the cancer has metastasized from the lungs, however, it is considered advanced, and is difficult to treat, other than with palliative care.
Because determining the cause and effect of asbestos exposure and receiving compensation through the courts is challenging, the advice of an experienced Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyer is recommended.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and believe it may have been caused by talc products, contact the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler for the experience and commitment you need. We serve clients in Philadelphia and Delaware County, Chester County, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Contact us for an appointment at 215-569-4000 or complete our online form.