Barber Seeks Justice After His Wife Dies of Malignant Mesothelioma

A lawsuit currently making its way through the New York City Asbestos Litigation courts is pitting a man and his daughter against the companies that they say caused their wife and mother to die of malignant mesothelioma. The man, Eddie Germain, had spent decades working as a barber, and he and his daughter Mildred are accusing multiple companies of selling asbestos-contaminated talc that eventually killed Michelle Germain.

Talcum Powder Blamed for Wife and Mother’s Death

According to deposition testimony provided prior to Mrs. Germain’s mesothelioma death, the 60-year-old woman had spent much of her life watching her husband work as a barber and helping him after he purchased his own barber shop. She described the years when he worked part-time at a barbershop in New York between 1978 and 1985, and how after he purchased the shop in 1985 she would visit more frequently.

Mrs. Germain testified that each time she visited Mr. Germain, she would observe him sprinkling talcum powder on a brush and applying it to the back of customers’ necks. She also testified that she would see it happen over a dozen times per visit, and that she not only helped sweep up the shop but also laundered his talcum-powder covered aprons and work shirts.

Asbestos-Contaminated Talc Blamed for Mesothelioma

Despite the fact that she was extremely young, Mrs. Germain’s mesothelioma took her life very quickly. She was diagnosed with the disease in February of 2017 and died just six months later, in August of 2017. Her husband and daughter blame asbestos contamination of the talc that Mr. Germain used in his years as a barber for her death. 

The companies that they are blaming include those that supplied the talc itself, as well as the companies that sold the talc-based products, including Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive Company, as well as Neslemur, which manufactured the Clubman talcum powder Mr. Germain used in the barber shop.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that has contaminated household and consumer products just as it has contaminated occupational settings. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you need information about where to go for help, start with the Patient Advocates at You can reach us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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