Another mesothelioma lawsuit victory: Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7B to asbestos victims

More families were victorious earlier this month when 22 women and their loved ones won a mesothelioma lawsuit against giant company Johnson & Johnson after it failed to warn its customers that its talc products could cause life-threatening illnesses, such as malignant mesothelioma.

baby powder

According to the Associated Press (AP), a jury at the St. Louis Circuit Court in Missouri not only awarded the plaintiffs $500 million in compensatory damages, but also punitive damages of $4.14 billion. The verdict was handed down on July 12.

Carol Goodrich, the company’s spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson, continues to defend the company, stating that Johnson & Johnson’s products do not contain dangerous asbestos.

“Johnson & Johnson remains confident that its products do not contain asbestos and do not cause ovarian cancer and intends to pursue all available appellate remedies. Every verdict against Johnson & Johnson in this court that has gone through the appeals process has been reversed and the multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed.”

The jury disagreed. Several medical experts testified that asbestos is indeed “intermingled” with talc. Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products’ primary ingredient is talc. Further, the plaintiffs’ asbestos lawyers testified that medical records showed that asbestos fibers were found in many of the plaintiff’s ovarian tissues.

“We hope this verdict will get the attention of the J&J board and that it will lead them to better inform the medical community and the public about the connection between asbestos, talc, and ovarian cancer,” one of the plaintiff’s lawyer’s said. “The company should pull talc from the market before causing further anguish, harm, and death from a terrible disease.”

According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, one of the plaintiff’s said that although there have been previous cases against Johnson & Johnson, this was the first case where jurors were provided documentation that proved the company knew the products contained asbestos, yet decided against warning its consumers.

Related Reading: Mesothelioma victims win $25M lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral,  but it’s been proven to cause fatal illnesses, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer. Yet, the company continues to deny that any of its products can cause cancer, despite over 9,000 women filing lawsuits after developing ovarian cancer.

Of the 22 plaintiffs, six of them have since passed away from ovarian cancer. Their families will receive the compensation on their behalf.

One of the plaintiffs and victims of cancer,  73-year-old Gail Ingham of O’Fallon, Missouri, Ingham, used baby powder for decades. She became a part of the lawsuit because she feels any person who uses Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder should be aware of the dangers.

[They] need to know what’s in there. They need to know what’s going on. Women need to know because they’re putting it on their babies.”

Another plaintiff, Toni Roberts, of Virginia, said she felt like “justice has been served,” while plaintiff Cecilia Martinez, of Dallas, hopes that the company “make changes to protect mothers and babies.”

One of the jurors said that the jury decided on the high compensation amount against the company in order to send a clear message.

We were just trying to find something they would feel.”

Johnson & Johnson earned around $70 million from its Baby Powder product within the last year alone. The jury multiplied the $70 by the 43 years the company has been claiming to not know their product contained cancer-causing ingredients.

There has been no indication as to whether the company plans to continue selling its talc products, although one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers said that Johnson & Johnson “should pull talc from the market before causing further anguish, harm, and death from a terrible disease.”

The cases against Johnson & Johnson continue to develop. Please check back with Mesothelioma Lawyer Center for additional

Additional Information and Resources for Mesothelioma and Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved one were diagnosed have been mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos-related cancer, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. We invite you to fill out our form today for a free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information about top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file an asbestos trust fund claim, and much more. For additional questions or comments, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.

Mesothelioma victims win $25M lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson

Last Tuesday, a Los Angeles jury found Johnson & Johnson and several other companies liable of causing an Oregon woman’s development of mesothelioma. The company was hit with a $25.75 million verdict after the jury found the business negligent about warning warn consumers about possible health risks from its powder.

baby powder

WJLA reports that Gary Anderson and Joanne Anderson filed an asbestos lawsuit lawsuit against the companies after Joanne developed pleural mesothelioma after using Johnson & Johnson”Baby Powder.” After reviewing the overwhelming evidence against the company, the jury returned a $21.75 million in compensatory damage amount last Tuesday, then tacked onadditional $4 million for punitive damages.

Joanne, of Oregon, said that as a bowler, she used the company’s powder in her bowling shoes and on her hands for numerous years without any thoughts it would one day cause cancer, as the company never warned its consumers of the possibility. She also used the powder for her children’s diaper rash when they were babies. Experts who testified in court estimated that Joanne likely used the powder more than 10,000 times.

After diagnosing Joanne with pleural mesothelioma, her physicians explained that it was likely caused by asbestos fibers sticking to the lining of her lungs. Johnson & Johnson unsuccessfully argued that there is no asbestos in its talc products.

Johnson & Johan was found responsible for liable 2/3 of the compensatory damages and 100% in punitive damages. The other businesses listed in the lawsuit included Fel-Pro, Borg Warner, and Honeywell.

“We are extremely pleased that our clients have found a measure of justice, although nothing can truly compensate them for what they have lost. Our clients are hopeful that this verdict can further bring light to this unbelievable example of corporate misconduct,” Joanne’s mesothelioma lawyer said.

Johnson & Johnson, however, disagrees. They released a public statement shortly after the verdict, announcing they will continue to fight anyone who files a lawsuit against them for asbestos-related cases.

“We are disappointed with the verdict and we will begin the appeals process. We will continue to defend the safety of our product because it does not contain asbestos or cause mesothelioma. Over the past 50 years, multiple independent, non-litigation driven scientific evaluations have been conducted by respected academic institutions and government bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and none have found that the talc in Johnson’s Baby Powder contains asbestos.”

Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. 

If you need additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.

Mesothelioma patients and depression: How to fight the blues during and after chemotherapy

Did you know that having cancer, including mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related cancer, can have a negative impact on your emotional health as well as your physical health? Although studies confirmed some people do experience emotional turmoil, there are number of options to help reduce the symptoms.

elderly man being comforted

A recent study by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found patients of mesothelioma don’t just experience damage to their physical health, but also to their mental and emotional health. When mesothelioma is diagnosed, common reactions in both patients and family include, but are not limited to, shock, anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, difficulty with concentration, anger and heightened social issues.

According to a publication entitled, “Insomnia, Fatigue, Anxiety, Depression, and Quality of Life of Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy,” written by the Rutgers University College of Nursing, certain treatments for mesothelioma, such as chemotherapy, can also cause some mental health issues, though they’re usually temporary. Examples of this are chemo brain (brain fog caused by chemotherapy), anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and concentration issues.

If you are experiencing or are concerned about any of these symptoms, especially during or after chemotherapy, tell your mesothelioma doctor about them. Your doctor can have you determine whether or not these symptoms are side effects of chemotherapy or stress, and can help you set up a plan to recover from diminished mental health. The following are some of the common symptoms of depression and association conditions.

Signs of Clinical Depression

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Feelings of helplessness and worthlessness
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Appetite loss or overeating
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Digestion issues
  • Suicidal thoughts and/or suicidal attempts
  • Angry outburts
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyable
  • Issues with thinking, concentrating, and making decisions

Ways to Fight Depression

One of the first ways to start the coping process of depression is telling a loved one about your feelings. Keep in mind that it’s OK to feel emotional turmoil during difficult times, and a loved one may be able to help you cope while you seek out help from your physician.

If you are supporting your loved one through depression and anxiety from mesothelioma, you can encourage them by asking them to be open about their feelings and about your feelings, too, but not forcing them to talk if they’re not ready. You can also help them setting up medical appointments, providing transportation to medical appointments and treatments, and reassuring them that their mental state may improve after proper treatment has been given.

Medications

Your physician may prescribe you medication, depending on how severe your symptoms are. The type of medication will depend on how well you respond to each type. You may need to try several different types of medications before you find the right fit. According to Mayo Clinic, each type of anti-depressant medications comes with side effects and some types of medicines will create harsher side effects on one person, whereas another person may have few, if any. The most common types of medications for depression include:

  • SSRIs
  • SNRIs
  • Atypical antidepressants
  • MAOIs
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

Physical Activity

Although physical activity may seem like the last thing on your mind while going through chemotherapy, it has proven benefits in lessening depression symptoms. According to Harvard Health, exercise releases ” “feel-good chemicals” within the body, known as endorphins, which in turn can help battle the blues.

However, it’s crucial that you speak with your doctor before starting any form of exercise. This is especially true for mesothelioma patients or other patients with any type of cancer undergoing treatment.

Maintain a Good Diet

Psychology Today reports that the food you eat can play a role in battling depression. Aiming for food that promote good “gut health” is especially important, while eliminating certain foods that can increase the symptoms of depression. While you should aim for eating a diet with green leafy vegetables, fruit, and lean protein, consider avoiding the following.

  • Any drink or food with aspartame (artificial sweeteners), which has been linked to depression
  • Caffeine and alcohol
  • Processed foods

Additional Help and Resources for Mesothelioma Victims

If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.

New gadget helps determine if asbestos is present in insulation

The United States Geology Survey (USGS) scientists found a way to test vermiculite insulation with a handy hand-held gadget that has proven to be invaluable when searching for dangerous asbestos in buildings and homes’ attics.

asbestos up close

USGS reports that the new tool, a hand-held spectrometer, will save time and resources for asbestos building inspectors who must send samples of the insulation for inspection to off-site laboratories. The innovative spectrometer allows inspectors a more reliable and easier way to determine if asbestos is present.

“The goal of this USGS study was to find an onsite way to test for asbestos by determining if near-infrared reflectance measurements, using portable spectrometers, could be used to reliably identify the source of vermiculite ore and therefore its potential to contain asbestos,” author Gregg Swayze of USGS. “We achieved this goal.”

The spectrometer can analyze the insulation for asbestos while in the attic of a building, without the need to pull samples and ship them off for testing. Further, a report can then be generated on-site and given to the owner immediately.

The tool can also be used for major home restoration projects. Homes built prior to the mid 1980s should always be tested for asbestos. When asbestos is disturbed during a restoration project, microscopic and odorless asbestos fibers become airborne, and people can easily and ingest or inhale them. When asbestos fibers become stuck in the body, dangerous illnesses can develop.

Although buildings are no longer constructed using vermiculite insulation, USGS reports that around a million homes that were built when asbestos was heavily used still contain the insulation. Vermiculite on its own is considered safe. However, the majority of vermiculate used in the United States hail from Libby, Montana, where it was commercially produced into vermiculite insulation and mixed with traces of amphibole asbestos.

Amphibole asbestos is dangerous to human health and can lead to life-threatening illnesses such as malignant mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung disease, and asbestosis.

“Based on medical studies, there is general agreement that all Libby vermiculite insulation is potentially hazardous,” Swayze continued. “This study demonstrates that spectrally determining the source of attic vermiculite as Libby, provides enough information to make a remediation decision.”

As MLC previously reported, Libby is one of the most notorious asbestos contamination sites in the history of the United States. Libby, a tiny town in Lincoln County, Montana, had vermiculite mining operation for numerous years. Starting from 1919 to 1990, the Libby mine manufactured contaminated asbestos vermiculite that was then shipped throughout the country to be used as insulation in buildings and homes.

Asbestos from the Libby mine was friable, which made it physically harmful. The residents of Libby, along with masses of people across the country, suffered severe adverse health effects. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still cleaning up the destructive area and the company that ran the site, W.R. Grace, continues to pays who became ill from asbestos exposure.

When the dangers of vermiculite asbestos in Libby were found out, over a thousand asbestos lawsuits were filed against W.R. Grace. The lawsuits came from all types of  people, including local residents, employees, and family members who argued the company knew about the risks involved, yet never workers or provide safety equipment or training.

In 2011, a  judge awarded a total of 1,300 plaintiffs a $43 million settlement amount, which came about around 10 yers after they filed the lawsuit jointly as a group. In 2017, another judge awarded $25 million in a settlement amount jointly  for a group of over 1,000 plaintiffs.

Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved have mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. We invite you to fill out our form today for a free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information about top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file an asbestos trust fund claim, and much more. For additional help, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.

Hero ferry worker who saved lives during 9/11 dies from cancer

A man hailed a hero after he turned a ferry boat around to save people and bring in resources in NYC on September 11, 2001, has died from cancer, reportedly due to toxic exposure from Ground Zero.

9/11 aftermath

New York ferry captain Tom Phelan, one of the numerous heroes that helped save lives in NYC in 2001, died earlier this month at the age of 45. According to CNN, Phelan was employed at the Circle Line Statue of Liberty ferry cruises in 2001 when the tragic incident occurred. Phelan was on duty when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan, but he quickly sprang into action, transporting hundreds of people from the toxic area to safety.

“He brought supplies, rescue workers & was a huge part of the operation,” NYC Fire Wire Facebook page wrote.

New York Daily News reports that Phelan passed away from cancer, likely brought about by inhaling and ingesting toxic fumes during 9/11.

According to Newsweek, an estimated 400,000 people who survived the 9/11 tragedy are now living with and fighting deadly diseases, including mesothelioma, a life-threatening illness typically brought about through the inhalation and/or ingestion of asbestos. The World Trade Center was built in the 1970s, during a time in which construction workers heavily replied upon asbestos use in materials for its affordability and ease of use.

Jeff Phalen

Jeff Phalen [Photo Credit: Facebook]

When the towers were attacked, numerous toxic substances permeated throughout Ground Zero, including asbestos. Asbestos fibers are microscopic, odorless, and tasteless, making it difficult to determine how much of the toxic fibers were ingested or inhaled. Asbestos exposure not only potentially leads to mesothelioma, but it can also cause asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancer.

“The diseases stemming from the World Trade Center attacks include almost all lung diseases, almost all cancers—such as issues of the upper airways, gastroesophageal acid reflux disease, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, panic and adjustment disorders,” Dr. David Prezant, co-director for the the City of New York’s World Trade Center Fire Department  Medical Monitoring Program, stated.

In addition to asbestos-related illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked around 70 types of cancers to toxic substance exposure during 9/11. It’s still unclear what type of cancer Phelan passed away from.

According to the World Trade Center Health Registry director, Mark Farfel, a number of people living with cancerous diseases today didn’t connect their health issues with 9/11. However, a federal fund was set up to compensate those who suffer from illnesses brought about by 9/11. The compensation fund, known as the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act, was signed by former President Barrack Obama in 2011.

Another fund, the  September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, was also created to help to allow people to file claims for economic loss due to death or illness during 9/11. Visit the official NYC 9/11 Health page for additional information by clicking here.

Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. For additional assistance, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.

New bill pushes to keep asbestos out of children’s makeup

Earlier this month, legislation got involved in a bid to place warning labels on all children’s makeup that contains asbestos, a law that currently isn’t in place in the U.S.

makeup kit

ABC reports that U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell introduced the new bill, after a 2017 investigation that determined a number of children’s makeup kits sold at Claire’s shops contained asbestos. The investigation began after a mother in  Rhode Island became interested in the ingredients inside the makeup her little girl was putting on her face. Working with an independent lab, the mother learned that at least 17 makeup kids sold by Claire’s contained the dangerous tremolite asbestos.

Representatives for Claire’s denied the accusations and stated that during its own independent lab testing, no asbestos was found. Regardless, the accusation was enough to spark the new bill and resulted in the store quickly pulling the following makeup kits off its shelves.

  • Metallic Hot Pink Glitter 48 Piece Makeup Set
  • Pink Glitter Cellphone Makeup Compact
  • Bedazzled Rainbow Heart Makeup Set
  • Rainbow Bedazzled Star Make Up Set
  • Rainbow Glitter Heart Shaped Makeup Set
  • Mint Glitter Make Up Set
  • Rainbow Bedazzled Rectangle Make Up Set
  • Pink Glitter Palette with Eyeshadow & Lip Gloss
  • Ultimate Mega Make Up Set

“Parents across the country should have the peace of mind in knowing that the cosmetics they buy for their children are safe,” Dingell said during a press release. “No child should be exposed to asbestos through the use of common, everyday products.”

That is why I introduced the Children’s Product Warning Label Act of 2018, which would require all cosmetics marketed to children to contain a warning label that the product may contain asbestos unless the manufacturer can prove otherwise to the FDA.”

Prior to Claire’s, another chain store, Justice, that sells children’s items, recalled a similar item after a television station in North Carolina accused the store of selling a product that contained asbestos. “Just Shine Shimmer Powder” was said to have contained talc filled with asbestos. The product also reportedly numerous other heavy metals.

There is currently no federal law in place that requires companies to test its cosmetics for asbestos. Earlier this month, Dingell said the FDA should have much more authority over decisions concerning harmful ingredients that go into children’s makeup. She indicated that if the bill doesn’t pass, consumers should become more proactive.

“But if Congress is unwilling to consider this approach, we should start taking common sense steps to protect our children by passing my legislation to ensure consumers have all the facts about the products they purchase. Congress must make this a priority in 2018.”

The issue doesn’t lie with just children’s makeup. There have been numerous talc-related lawsuit in recent years against giant companies such as Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson. Many talc-related products often have asbestos mixed in them. Further, in 2015, several stores, including  Toys “R” Us and Party City were selling children’s crayons that contained asbestos.

Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. For additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.

Daughter who wore dad’s old jacket during the winter develops mesothelioma

As a child, a woman named Heather never though that wearing her father’s old work jacket would one day lead her to developing the toxic illness, mesothelioma, brought about by inhaling asbestos fibers.

Old jacket

“As a kid, I would grab my dad’s coat off the doorknob in our entryway and wear it when I fed my rabbits, or did my chores in the yard,” Heather told the NewStatesman.

“I remember very distinctly, it smelled like my dad, like his cologne or his soap on the rope.It was roomy and warm, like wrapping myself in my dad’s hug. And it was covered in a greyish-white crust from all the drywall he installed and pulled down.”

This “greyish-white crust” from the drywall was actually dust from asbestos. Asbestos is a toxic mineral once used in abundance at construction sites. When asbestos fibers are disturbed, they can easily be inhaled or ingested. The fibers remain in the body for years, leading to malignant DNA mutation.

Heather’s diagnosis of mesothelioma occurred just mere months after she gave birth to a little girl. She was later told she had only a little over a year to live. Her daughter, Lily, was told from an early age about the dangers of asbestos, as her mother has become a staunch advocate for the ban of asbestos in her home country, the UK.

She spends as much time as she can rallying against companies that still use the dangerous asbestos in their products. She also complains to politicians who attempt to stop asbestos regulations.

Although asbestos has not been manufactured in the U.S. since 2002, importing was in the process of declining. But according to the Statesman, President Donald Trump stopped emphasis on banning its imports, and its previous decline is something that originally gave Heather hope that the dangerous mineral would one day be completely banned.

Imports on asbestos reportedly came close to doubling when the Toxic Substances Control Act got a recent overhaul. A Sept. 2017 review by head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, discussed the risks of allowing new asbestos imports in the U.S., but failed to evaluate asbestos materials that are already the country. Now, Heather, who had been meeting with congressmen and senators to raise awareness regarding asbestos-related diseases, thinks that it’s impossible to one day get an absolute all on anything asbestos.

Heather told the Statesman that when she visited the offices of the Congress and Senate to spread awareness and lobby for an asbestos review, she was treated rudely by Republicans and never heard back from them. She stated that Democrats, in the past, were more “thoroughly engaged.”

Even though the UK didn’t decline to increase asbestos regulations, there are numerous buildings and homes in the country that were once built with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). Heather said she blamed HGTV, a home U.S.-based home improvement channel, for people still developing asbestos illnesses in the UK.

As housing prices soar, more people are reportedly opting to fix up their older homes, which possibly contain asbestos, rather than purchase a new home. Further, many people cannot afford to hire a renovator, and home improvement programs typically do not offer much warning when it comes to asbestos exposure.

However, despite her pessimism that asbestos will never be completely banned, Heather said she will continue to work toward the “global cooperation of asbestos victims.” Yet, she finds it “incredibly disheartening that this blatant favoritism emboldens chemical companies globally because the US, which should be a world leader, is championing their cause,” according to the Statesman.

The Dangers of Second-Hand Asbestos

Heather never worked around asbestos herself, which remains the leading reason that people develop asbestos-related diseases in the first place. However, the family of those who did work around the toxic material are at risk if they come into contact with asbestos with it.

Second-hand asbestos exposure, also referred to as secondary asbestos exposure, occurs when asbestos fibers transfer from someones skin, work tools, hair, or clothing, and onto an unsuspecting victim. In Heather’s case, her father’s old work coat was not left at work, nor was it washed and cleaned prior to bringing it into the family home. The asbestos fibers transferred from his coat and into the Heather’s lungs, just by simply wearing her dad’s coat.

To learn more about asbestos exposure, including second-hand asbestos exposure, refer to our article, Asbestos Exposure.

Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, now is the time to take the first steps in determining what you may be eligible for. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. For additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.

Scientist says he found asbestos in children’s products, on shelves of popular store in 9 different states: Report

Claire’s cosmetics stores pulled at least 17 products from their shelves last month after a Rhode Island family discovered that their 6-year-old daughter wore children’s makeup that allegedly contained asbestos. In Jan., the store announced that its products were asbestos-free, but a scientist who independently tested numerous products from various Claire’s stores disagrees.

makeup kit

NBC10 reports that the family purchased the makeup kit from a Claire’s store in a Providence mall. However, according to the family of the victim, the problem is not exclusive to Rhode Island alone. After Kristy Weaver became concerned with what was inside the makeup her little girl put on her face, she sent the kit off for analysis at an independent North Carolina laboratory.

“I physically sank,” Warner told NBC10. “I ended up sitting on the ground, just trying to wrap my head around how something like that could end up in our home.”

According to test results, the makeup kit contained tremolite asbestos, a toxic type of asbestos linked with life-threatening illnesses such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer.

Warner, worried that other children could be using the same product, enlisted the help of her boss at a law firm, John Deaton, to help her purchase 17 different products from Claire’s in nine different areas of the nation. All 17 kits were sent off for testing. The results were reportedly devastating.

According to a scientist responsible for conducting the tests, Sean Fitzgerald of Scientific Analytical Institute, tremolite asbestos was detected in every single product he tested.

The products in question, according to Forbes, include:

  • Metallic Hot Pink Glitter 48 Piece Makeup Set
  • Pink Glitter Cellphone Makeup Compact
  • Bedazzled Rainbow Heart Makeup Set
  • Rainbow Bedazzled Star Make Up Set
  • Rainbow Glitter Heart Shaped Makeup Set
  • Mint Glitter Make Up Set
  • Rainbow Bedazzled Rectangle Make Up Set
  • Pink Glitter Palette with Eyeshadow & Lip Gloss
  • Ultimate Mega Make Up Set

“The fact that the majority of the products came from the store shelves in the last two weeks means that there are other children being exposed,” Warner added.

Claire’s Responds

After the cosmetics store was confronted with the results, it released a statement on Dec. 22, indicating that for precautionary measures, the kits had been pulled from the shelves.

“As a result of today’s inquiry from WJAR-TV, we have taken the precautionary measure of pulling the items in question from sale, and will be conducting an immediate investigation into the alleged issues,” the statement read.

On Jan. 4, however, Claire’s released another statement after it had its own independent lab testing done. According to cosmetics store, the makeup kits were asbestos-free.

“We are pleased to report that test results received to date from two certified independent labs confirm that the products in question are asbestos free, completely safe and meet all government requirements,” the latest statement read, according to CNBC.

The company stated that the talc used in the makeup kit products were from the pharmaceutical company, Merck KGaA. Merck provided certificates of analysis to both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada, which indicated that their talc contains no asbestos.

“Any report that suggests that the products are not safe is totally false,” a spokesperson for Claire’s reported.

Yet, Fitzgerald told CNBC that regardless of what Claire’s said, he stands by the results he found from his own testing. He said some companies use testing methods that aren’t currently up to today’s standards. Claire’s responded by saying that it asked for the details of the test that Fitzgerald performed, but never received them.

“We only learned of the claims after they went to the press,” the statement from Claire’s read. “We have made multiple requests for Mr. Fitzgerald’s detailed test data, but it has not been provided to us. Mr. Fitzgerald also went to the press in July with claims that testing of cosmetics from Justice showed evidence of asbestos, which Justice refuted after analysis of a third-party ISO-certified testing lab.”

According to Fitzgerald, the law firm Warner works for has the detailed test results, which has been sent over to Claire’s, outlining the the testing methods used. Further, Fitzgerald said that the law firm still has the products that were tested and that Claire’s has not tested those specific products for asbestos.

Claire’s has yet to publicly indicate which labs were used to test the products. The cosmetics company also hasn’t shared the test results results publicly.

Resources and Information for Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. Fill out our form today to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. For additional assistance, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.

Colgate-Palmolive Co. settles asbestos lawsuit over talc powder products

Colgate-Palmolive Co., makers of talcum powder products (among many others products), agreed to settle a lawsuit brought on by a Pennsylvania woman who claimed her usage of their talcum powder products caused her to develop malignant mesothelioma.

personal injury stock photo

The company resolved Carol Schoeniger’s lawsuit in a New Jersey courtroom, likely to avoid undergoing another lengthy trial. The amount awarded to the plaintiff remains private since it was an agreed-upon settlement.

The deal came about as numerous talcum powder users begin to hold businesses such as Colgate-Palmolive and other talcum products makers and distributors accountable for not forewarning them that their body powders contained the toxic mineral, asbestos, which is a known carcinogen linked to deadly diseases, including mesothelioma, asbestos, and asbestos-related lung cancer. The lawsuits declare that some of the companies’ products made with talcum are polluted with asbestos, which can frequently be found in talcum deposits.

Currently, Colgate-Palmolive is facing over 170 cases against them for allegedly selling talc products  laced with asbestos. They’ve said that 43 cases have been rectified this year alone.

In 2015, as reported by the Sacramento Bee, the company once again lost an asbestos-related lawsuit after a California woman with mesothelioma sued the business for not giving warning that their Cashmere Bouquet product contained asbestos–which ultimately led to the plaintiff developing an asbestos-related illness.

In this instance, the company fought the lawsuit and after a two-week trial in a Los Angeles court, they ultimately lost. They were initially required to pay $12.4 million to the plaintiff, but just as the jury convened to discuss adding punitive damages, an agreed upon undisclosed amount was settled upon.

“Colgate was disappointed with the jury’s verdict,” company spokesman Tom DiPiazza later said.

“Defendants manage their litigation in different ways,” Schoeniger’s attorney said earlier this month. “Colgate settles some and tries other.’’

In 2013, in another talc-related lawsuit, a New Jersey jury determined that Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, Inc., a company that distributed talc-related products such as Desert Flower and Old Spice body powder, didn’t warn plaintiff Steven Kaenzig of the risks of asbestos. Similar to Schoeniger, Kaenzig developed mesothelioma. However, Kaenzig’s exposure came second-hand after his father brought asbestos-contaminated talc products from his work and into the family home.

Kaenzig was diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma in 2011. Two years later, a jury awarded Kaenzig and his wife, Linda, $1.6 million in damages.

Another giant corporation, Johnson & Johnson, is also facing mounting claims. Currently, the company has over 5,000 pending claims against it popular baby powder product, with many plaintiffs alleging it caused ovarian cancer in women.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), although talc isn’t consideration a carcinogen, there is a possible link to ovarian cancer. The link, according to ACS, is a small one.

Small risks, however, do not mean people won’t develop life-threatening illnesses. For instance, ACS also suggests that there is no safe amount of asbestos exposure. Although it’s more likely for someone to develop a toxic illness such as mesothelioma when large amounts of asbestos are inhaled and/or ingested, the risk is still there and can’t be ruled out simply because it’s minute.

Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. If you need additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.

Firefighters are training in old building with asbestos

Around 130 North Carolina firefighters were reportedly ordered to train on a building that was constructed with asbestos-containing materials, according to local station, WSOCTV.

fireman asbestos

The stations reports that firefighters trained at an old Sears department store building in Gastonia, where asbestos was found below the roof. The firefighters told local news station that they started training on the roof of the building in Dec. 2016. Almost all of the firefighters in training cut holes in the roof and used sledgehammers to break, which released toxic asbestos fibers into the air.

Gastonia engineers indicated in Aug. 2016 that there was likely asbestos in the old Sears building, yet the firefighters were never made aware of it prior to training. When city officials learned of the asbestos, they changed policies to reflect that all buildings must be inspected before any training can take place. However, officials learned of the asbestos problem months after the training began.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Gastonia Fire Department “did not exercise due diligence to inform firefighters about the presence and location of asbestos containing material prior to conducting training, potentially exposing firefighters to asbestos.”

Subsequently, OSHA fined the city $77,000, which was later reduced to $33,000.

Meanwhile, hundreds of firefighters in the city are now at risk of developing life-threatening illnesses. It’s unclear whether any of the firefighters are planning to pursue an asbestos lawsuit.

Firefighters and Asbestos

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) stated that firefighting is an occupation with one of the highest risks of asbestos exposure. Firefighters enter old buildings frequently and are faced with asbestos, soot, smoke, fumes, and other toxic substances.

NIOSH, along with the the United States Fire Administration (USFA), conducted a study in 2003 and 2010 of over 18,000 current and retired firefighters, which indicated that firefighters are at heightened risk of developing mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer. Firefighters are also at a heightened risk of developing bladder cancer, leukemia, and kidney cancer.

Asbestos, a natural carcinogen, has microscopic, odorless, fibers that can be easily ingested and inhaled without realizing it. Once these tiny fibers are inside the system, it’s almost impossible for the body to dispel them all. The fibers then attach to linings of the major organs, such as the lungs, stomach, and heart.

Over time, the asbestos fibers become cancerous. With early intervention, victims have the best chance of removing the cancerous tumors. The problem, however, is that symptoms of asbestos illnesses stay dormant for up to 50 years. Once someone notices the symptoms, the disease has generally progressed into its later stages.

firefighters putting out flames

It’s crucial for firefighters and anyone else who may have been exposed to asbestos to get regular medical checkups. Be sure to tell your doctor that you may have had asbestos exposure, otherwise they may fail to run testing, as asbestos diseases are still considered rare in the medical world.

In the meantime, there are certain precautions firefighters should take while on the job, which include:

  • Removing work clothing immediately after work and washing them as as possible
  • Taking a hot shower after removing work clothing
  • Thoroughly washing work gear while still at the fire station (do not take work gear home if possible)
  • Always wearing safety equipment that can help prevent asbestos ingestion and inhalation

For additional information, refer to our article, Asbestos and Firefighters.

Additional Help and Resources for firefighters

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. For additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540. 

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