A diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma — an aggressive form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure — shocked our clients. Neither she nor any of her family members worked in occupations that might put her at risk for exposure to asbestos, a known carcinogen. Yet, in July 2016, the diagnosis was confirmed.
After learning of her condition, she came to Weitz & Luxenberg for legal help. The W&L team filed a lawsuit on her behalf in January 2017.
Meanwhile, our client had to undergo expensive medical treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. She was unable to keep on working and went onto disability. Sadly, she was in her 60s when she passed away from her cancer in April 2018. The family were long-time residents of Riverside County in California.
Asbestos Exposure Caused Mesothelioma
During interviews with our client, our team of attorneys discerned where her exposure to asbestos — the only known cause of mesothelioma — came from. It was from repeated use of a certain name-brand, widely marketed talcum baby powder product.
Our client has regularly used this talcum powder product since the mid-1960s. In fact, she estimates she has used 100 containers throughout her life.
Results of Expert Testing Proved Crucial
Crucial evidence in this case involved expert testing of the actual product containers in question. Our client still had bottles of some of the talcum powder products she has used.
Our attorneys immediately contacted experts to have one of these bottles tested for asbestos. Test results showed that it contained chrysotile asbestos.
Mark Bratt, trial counsel in the case, explains, “The positive test results made it clear that the defendants in this case put more emphasis into marketing their products and earning money than assuring the safety of their customers. W&L responded with a clear message: this is unacceptable in our community.”
Dangers in Talcum Powder Products
In recent years, a number of independent laboratory tests have confirmed that some nationally recognized brands of talcum powder products do, in fact, contain trace amounts of asbestos fibers. (1) Still, companies maintain that the trace levels of these fibers in their products are safe.
That claim was not supported by the findings of the experts W&L reached out to in this case, which are backed by Dr. William Longo, another prominent expert in the field. It is Dr. Longo’s opinion asbestos talcum powder cases have been widely underreported.
For consumers, the danger arises as you use these talc products because the asbestos fibers in the talcum powder can float into the air for hours and be inhaled. Through repeated exposure, a person can develop an accumulation of asbestos fibers in the linings of the lungs or abdomen. This can cause scarring, inflammation and cellular changes ultimately resulting in mesothelioma. (2) Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until decades after exposure.
Talc is a mineral that is mined from the earth, and is always surrounded by companion minerals which includes different types of asbestos. Therefore, baby powder and other talcum powders always contain at least a trace amount of asbestos fibers.
Talcum powders are popular because talc absorbs moisture and reduces friction, which prevents rashes. But talc is very dangerous, because there is no known safe level of asbestos fibers that has been identified to prevent against the development of cancer and mesothelioma.
Substantial Financial Settlement Negotiated
All the defendants in this case settled in December 2017. As a result of our careful work and tireless efforts, we were able to recover a seven-figure financial settlement for our client.
At W&L, our attorneys have negotiated a total of $17 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Our legal teams are seasoned professionals who fully understand the law and our clients’ needs.
W&L Attorneys Are Seasoned Professionals
Mr. Bratt points out, “Our client came to us for help; she sought justice for the pain and suffering these callous companies inflicted upon her through their greed. It is very gratifying to be able to say that W&L helped her get justice.”
Our trained, dedicated, knowledgeable, and compassionate attorneys worked tirelessly on our client’s behalf. W&L attorneys have the skill and resources to take on large corporations that overlook safety for profits, and we win lawsuits for our clients.