Court Revives Mesothelioma Claim Against Avon

When Alicia Ramirez and her husband Fermin first filed a mesothelioma lawsuit against Avon Products, the company successfully had the case against them dismissed. Rather than giving up, the couple doubled down and appealed the court’s decision. After close examination, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District reversed the lower court’s decision and revived the couple’s quest for justice.

Avon elusive powder

Mesothelioma Victim Blames Asbestos in Avon Powder for Terminal Illness

The mesothelioma victim and her husband have been pursuing Avon since she was first diagnosed with the rare and fatal disease. They blame asbestos in the company’s talc powder products for her illness, pointing to her three-decade-long daily use of Avon talcum products as well as exposure from the Avon talc products that her daughter used in their shared bathroom.

Avon responded to the mesothelioma claim with a declaration from Lisa Gallo, vice president of global innovation, research, and development, stating that she had investigated whether the company had knowledge of asbestos in their product and had found none. Her statement, as well as documents prepared by employees of the company, supported the company’s motion for summary judgment, which was granted by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David S. Cunningham III.

Evidence Submitted in Mesothelioma Claim Called Hearsay

In the face of their mesothelioma claim against Avon being dismissed, the Ramirez’ chose to appeal Judge Cunningham’s decision. They argued that Ms. Gallo had not begun working for Avon until 1994 and could have no personal knowledge of what the company had done or known prior to her arrival, and that an independent review conducted in her role did not comport with California’s rules of evidence. They also argued that the documents prepared by the company employees were hearsay and not admissible.

In its reversal of the lower court’s decision, the appeals court went beyond simply agreeing with the mesothelioma victim: they referred to Avon’s complaint about the rules of evidence being applied as “nonsense.” In writing for the court, presiding Justice Maria E. Stratton wrote, “What Avon is in effect suggesting is that if a party deposes a corporate entity, the corporate entity is no longer bound by the rules of evidence at any subsequent trial or hearing. This is simply nonsense.”

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Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger

Reviewer and Editor

Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.

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