The New York-based company was sued by a Pennsylvania woman who developed mesothelioma after using the talcum powder product for more than 20 years. According to court filings, Colgate-Palmolive avoided a trial in a New Jersey state court by reaching the undisclosed settlement.
Plaintiff Carol Schoeniger alleged that Colgate-Palmolive failed to warn her of risks associated with using Cashmere Bouquet. She claimed that inhaling the asbestos-contaminated talc product caused her cancer.
Ms. Schoeniger’s case is the latest of several in which talc users accuse talc product makers of selling them products that pose serious health risks.
More than 170 Talc Cancer Mesothelioma Cases
Colgate-Palmolive faces more than 170 lawsuits from people who claim the company sold them talcum powder that contained asbestos. The company has resolved 43 talc asbestos cases so far in 2017, according to Bloomberg News.
Talcum powder was routinely in American homes for more than 100 years. Colgate-Palmolive made Cashmere Bouquet from 1871 to 1985, marketing it until 1995.
Moisture Phobia drives Talc Sales
Some sort of moisture phobia appears to lurk behind the human craze for talc. Despite this talc asbestos lawsuit and others involving a talc link to ovarian cancer, talc is still sold today and used in many products. People seem drawn to its ability to absorb moisture and soften the skin in some areas.
Talc with Asbestos
Prior to the 1970s, reports showed some talc products contained traces of asbestos dust, a result of talc and asbestos minerals often appearing near each other in the natural world.
Long Latency Period for Mesothelioma
Inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers can lead to serious health problems, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. The latency period for these diseases is usually decades. It may take 20-30 years or more for people exposed to asbestos-contaminated talc products to exhibit symptoms of talc-related problems.
Related: Talc Powder Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Judith Winkel Case Precedent
In 2015, a California jury awarded Judith Winkel $13 million over her mesothelioma claim tied to Cashmere Bouquet. That was the first verdict against Colgate-Palmolive for asbestos exposure from commercial talcum powder. But few know what she was actually awarded in damages, as Ms. Winkel later agreed to a confidential settlement with the company.
Cashmere Boquet Talc
Cashmere Bouquet contained talc mined by Imerys Talc North America, the world’s leading talc producer. Imerys’ Yellowstone open-cast mine in Montana is the country’s biggest talc mining operation.
Talc Asbestos Case settled by Colgate-Palmolive
A spokeswoman for Imery’s, Gwen Myers, told Bloomberg in an email: “Imerys’ firm position is that talc is safe, and that position is backed by the consensus of government agencies and professional scientific organizations that have reviewed the safety of talc.’’
Colgate-Palmolive Files Motion with Philadelphia Court
The company has asked a judge to reconsider dismissing the first asbestos-related talc case in Philadelphia after the court rejected the testimony of two key experts for the plaintiffs. Colgate-Palmolive filed a motion for summary judgment Oct. 23.
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Idee Fox barred the experts from testifying in October in the case of Brandt v. Colgate-Palmolive. The Philly-filed lawsuit alleges Sally Brandt developed mesothelioma from using asbestos-contaminated talcum powder from 1954 to 1970.
California Appeals Court Reverses Summary Judgment
In a separate but related case, a California appeals court reversed a summary judgment Oct. 20 in a Colgate-Palmolive asbestos lawsuit.
The three-justice panel of the California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 3, ruled the trial court made a mistake in granting Colgate-Palmolive summary judgment over allegations that Cashmere Bouquet contained asbestos and caused plaintiff Mary Lyons to develop mesothelioma. Ms. Lyons was diagnosed in October 2015.
In the unanimous decision, the appeals court ruled Ms. Lyons had provided enough evidence to warrant a trial, which is pending.
“All or most of the Cashmere Bouquet that [Lyons] used almost daily for 20 years contained harmful asbestos,” said Justice Stuart Pollak in the 3-0 ruling. Judge Pollak also noted there was no evidence Ms. Lyons had been exposed to asbestos from any other source.