A Los Angeles jury recently made headlines after awarding $18 million to a plaintiff claiming asbestos-laced talcum powder was to blame for his mesothelioma. The 68-year-old former Los Angeles political figure claims he developed mesothelioma from coming in contact with talcum powder at his father’s barbershop where he would visit and spent time working as a child, stemming all the way back to the 1940s.
The defendant, Whittaker Clark & Daniels, was just one of many parties the plaintiff intended to hold responsible for his health issues. The plaintiff claims he was exposed to asbestos-laced talc in common hygiene products like Old Spice, Clubman, Kings Men, and Mennen Shave Talc.
The 12-person jury ultimately found Whittaker Clark & Daniels 30% at fault for the plaintiff’s mesothelioma. The verdict is also significant because the jury awarded the victim $3 million more than named in the suit and could have been much more had the trial proceeded to the punitive damages award stage.
Punitive damages are a rare type of award given to punish defendants for behavior a jury finds especially willful and wanton (intentional). In this case, the Los Angeles Superior Court jury determined the defendant acted with malice by producing a harmful products, marketing them as “asbestos free” without conducting any type of testing to verify the claim.
The defendant ultimately chose to settle the case, agreeing to the jury’s award and settling for an undisclosed amount of punitive damages. According to reports, some members of the jury were prepared to award as much as $20 to $25 million in additional compensation to punish the defendant.
The jury also found other defendants partially at fault for their role in the defendant’s terminal cancer. Those included Clubman Talc maker American International Industries: 10% at fault, Colgate-Palmolive as successor to Men Shave Talc: 10% at fault, Cyprus Amax Minerals: 40% at fault, and Old Spice talc maker Shutlon: 10% at fault.
What is Talc?
Talc is the key ingredient in talcum powder, a common mineral used in a variety of cosmetic and hygiene products renowned for its softness and ability to absorb many times its own mass in moisture. Often times, talc is mined from areas that contain asbestos as well.
While talc companies have long manufactured their products without deadly asbestos fibers, many victims have come forward in recent years claiming household products containing asbestos-laced talcum powder caused them to develop serious health conditions. Recently, a St. Louis jury awarded a female plaintiff $70 million for the ovarian cancer she claims was caused by talc in Johnson & Johnson baby powder.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to an experienced Nationwide mesothelioma lawyer about your case. The Throneberry Law Group can investigate your case and get you and your family the compensation you need for medical treatment and hold wrongdoers accountable for their reckless behavior.