Asbestos-contaminated talc has been proven to be a cause of mesothelioma and lawsuits are marching through the judicial system.
Talc is a mineral with deposits that occur near asbestos mines. Talc has been used for decades in products such as baby powder and other cosmetic products. Studies in recent years show that breathing such powders has caused mesothelioma.
Two cases in New York
Desiree Hooper-Lynch of New York is suing Imerys Talc America and Cyprus Amax Minerals Companies. She claims the two companies sold Colgate Palmolive the raw talc used in the company’s Cashmere Boutique body powder, which she used from 1968 to 1985.
Both companies have argued that since they’re based in Delaware, they can’t be sued in New York. The New York County Supreme Court denied the claim because both companies sold talc and shipped it to Colgate Palmolive for a minimum of six years.
Hooper-Lynch’s case against the two companies will go forward.
Another case in New York County
Anna Zoas was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma at the age of 76 and has filed suit against Johnson & Johnson, claiming she has been exposed since 1945 to asbestos in the talc used in the company’s products. She said her mother liberally used Johnson’s Baby Powder when she was a baby.
Johnson & Johnson filed a motion for summary judgment, which was denied by the New York County Supreme Court. The case will now go to trial.
The company faces nearly 12,000 lawsuits nationwide claiming the baby powder caused either ovarian cancer or mesothelioma.
A similar case in South Carolina ended in a hung jury in May. Johnson & Johnson lost cases in earlier this year in New Jersey and California while four other trial have ended in mistrials. A Missouri verdict against the company is under appeal while a New Jersey jury ruled in favor of the company in October.