Jury Finds Colgate-Palmolive Talcum Powder Causes Mesothelioma, Awards $13 Million
LOS ANGELES and SAN PEDRO, Calif., May 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Worthington & Caron, P.C. is pleased to announce that on April 28 a Los Angeles County Jury returned a $13 million verdict in favor of our clients, Judith and John Winkel, against the Colgate-Palmolive Company.
In a unanimous verdict, the jury found that Colgate-Palmolive's "Cashmere Bouquet" talcum powder was responsible for causing Judith Winkle to contract mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos. This is the first verdict ever against Colgate-Palmolive for asbestos exposure from talcum powder.
According to the lawsuit, Judy began using Cashmere Bouquet in 1961, when her coworkers gave her a can of the powder as a gift. As she testified, "I love that fragrance. It was just light, floral fragrance." She loved it so much that she "used it all" and then "I bought some more."
From 1961 to 1976, Judy used Cashmere Bouquet virtually every day. She shook the powder out of the container, creating "a little cloud, like dust cloud," and when she applied it to her skin, "it felt silky and smooth." Judy had no idea that this daily indulgence would cause her to be diagnosed with cancer nearly 40 years later.
Evidence in the case revealed that Colgate-Palmolive made Cashmere Bouquet from the 1930s to 1995. Prior to 1985, the company sourced talc from three different mines that were documented as being contaminated with asbestos as early as the 1940s. Colgate-Palmolive's own later testing of the talc found it to contain asbestos, but never passed this information on to either the FDA or consumers. At trial, the company denied that its product contained asbestos or was responsible for causing Judy's illness.
"This trial was about accountability," said John "Cubby" Winkel, Judy's husband. "Colgate made a dangerous product but they refused to admit it." He and Judy are grateful for the hard work of their legal team, including the "phenomenal" work of trial attorneys David Greenstone and Chris Panatier of the Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett firm, and the work of Worthington & Caron attorney John Caron in developing the case against Colgate.
Judy, a retired office clerk, mother and grandmother, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January 2014. She was operated on by Dr. Robert Cameron, Director of the UCLA Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program.
"While we celebrate this first-ever verdict against Colgate-Palmolive," said Roger Worthington of Worthington & Caron, "We are mindful that Judy continues to live with mesothelioma. She and Cubby deserve compensation, but what they really want is to be able to play with their grandchildren and tend to their garden. With Dr. Cameron's guidance, we are hopeful that Judy and Cubby will enjoy many more years together."
"Dr. Cameron is an incredible physician," Cubby stated, "We are so fortunate that he treated Judy and look forward to him being Judy's doctor for the long term."
But for now, Judy and Cubby are relieved to have their legal battle behind them. As Cubby put it, "Thank God trial is over and we can get on with our lives and enjoy each other."
Worthington & Caron is a Los Angeles-based law firm which has dedicated its practice to representing mesothelioma and asbestos cancer sufferers nationwide since 1990. For more information about the firm or about asbestos exposure from talcum powder, visit http://mesothel.com or call 800-831-9399.
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SOURCE Worthington & Caron, P.C.