Woman Reaches Settlement in Colgate-Palmolive Talc Case
A Pennsylvania woman who claims she developed mesothelioma cancer due to exposure to asbestos in a popular talc product manufactured by Colgate-Palmolive has reached a settlement with the company, avoiding a trial, news outlets report.
Colgate-Palmolive moved to resolve the complaint in the case filed by Carol Schoeniger rather than go to trial in a New Jersey state court, explained a press release.
Details of the settlement were not available to the general public.
The company, best known for its toothpaste, is facing 170 claims similar to that of Schoeniger, though many plaintiffs in those suits claim they developed ovarian cancer – not mesothelioma – due to exposure to asbestos-laced talcum powders. Colgate reports that 43 claims have been solved so far this year, which means they were either dismissed or a settlement was paid to the plaintiff.
Fellow consumer products maker, Johnson & Johnson, has been burdened with about 5,500 similar complaints, most claiming that their iconic Johnson’s Baby Powder caused ovarian cancer for scores of women who consistently used the product in their genital area.
Most of the talc for the powders came from Imerys Mines, which insists that their talc is safe and free from asbestos, a mineral that is often found in the same areas where talc is located.
Both asbestos and talc are naturally-occurring minerals, with deposits located in several states. The north central states in particular, such as Wisconsin and Minnesota, offer extensive talc mining areas. Many talc miners have also developed mesothelioma.
“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,” Gwen Myers, a spokeswoman for Imerys Talc North America, said Friday in an emailed statement to the press.
Schoeniger’s suit alleged she used Cashmere Bouquet – one of the company’s oldest products – for more than 20 years before she was diagnosed with aggressive mesothelioma cancer.
In the lawsuit, it is alleged that the company failed to warn her of the “risks, dangers and harm” to which she would be exposed through “inhalation or ingestion of the asbestos dust” in the body powders.