Many people diagnosed with mesothelioma who have no known exposure to asbestos are realizing that they were sickened by the use of talc-based products, and they are seeking justice throughout the court system. A recent example involves Desiree Hooper-Lynch, a New York woman who is filing suit against Imerys Talc America, Inc. and Cyprus Amax Minerals Companies. Ms. Hooper-Lynch claims that her mesothelioma was caused by use of Colgate Palmolive Company’s Cashmere Bouquet body powder product, and that the two companies sold Colgate Palmolive the asbestos-contaminated talc responsible for her illness.
Malignant mesothelioma has long been associated with occupational exposure to asbestos, a mineral that adds strength and insulation against fire and heat to numerous applications. In recent years, however, there has been a rising tide of concern about the presence of asbestos in one of the world’s most trusted household products — talc-based powders. Talc is a mineral that is often found near deposits of asbestos, and this proximity has been linked to contamination of talc sold for a variety of purposes, including baby powders and body powders. Ms. Hooper-Lynch’s claim indicates that she used Cashmere Bouquet from 1968 through 1985, and that the raw talc that the defendants sold for the product to be manufactured contained asbestos. Rather than argue against the contamination, the defendants chose to assert that they cannot be sued in New York because of a lack of personal jurisdiction: both companies are Delaware corporations, and claim that because they do not mine, manufacture, research, develop, design or test talc or talcum powder in the state, they could not be held responsible there. The Supreme Court of New York County denied their motion for summary judgment, indicating that because both transacted business in the state, and that for a minimum of six years “sold talc and shipped it to Colgate-Palmolive in New York on a continuous basis.” Ms. Hooper-Lynch’s case will be able to proceed.
Mesothelioma victims face many challenges, but there are also many resources available to provide them with support. If you need guidance or assistance, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.