Judith Winkel was awarded 13 million dollars by a California Court in compensation after developing mesothelioma from her use of Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder.
It is believed from her use of the powder she developed 95% of her cancer, the other 5% can be attributed to 4 other bands she used around that time period. Mrs. Winkel claimed she had used the product regular form 1961 to 1973. It was not until 1973 when the federal courts outlawed the use of asbestos in talcum powder, which up to that point was commonly found within ingredient.
A Los Angeles courtroom determined that Colgate-Palmolive was responsible for the 73-year-olds cancer, awarding her $12.4m. In a separate legal case, Mrs. Winkel received another sum of money from 4 other talc companies at an undisclosed amount.
For years, there has been much dispute over connections with talc and the development of cancer in later life. Talc is a naturally occurring mineral that can be mined from deposits interwoven with asbestos fibers. Representatives from the Colgate-Palmolive who sold off the Cashmere Bouquet brand in 1995, did not accept the Los Angeles jury’s verdict that their talc was responsible for the poor health of Mrs. Winkel.
“Cashmere Bouquet did not harm Mrs. Winkel. There was a clear absence of proof connecting any disease to our product,” Colgate-Palmolive attorney Faith Gay argued during the case, according to FairWarning.Org.
This is not the first lawsuit of its kind against a talc supplier over asbestos cancer claims. In 2013 a jury awarded a woman 2 million dollars after she developed mesotheliomas from her use of Whittaker brand talc. Cases like these have mainly been brought forward by former workers who were involved in the manufacturing or users of industrial grade talc products.
A number of years ago the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed a comprehensive study on talc products sold in the United States. The findings were published as “informative” about talc products but failed to state conclusively about trace amounts of carcinogens that might be present.
As we understand more about the inherent dangers of asbestos, undoubtedly we will see many more legal cases of this nature spring up, forcing companies to take stock of employee health and wellbeing.