Lawsuit Blames Cashmere Bouquet Powder for Woman’s Mesothelioma

Maryann Purser died of malignant mesothelioma. After her diagnosis, she and her family reviewed her life history to determine where she could have been exposed to asbestos, the mineral that causes the rare and fatal form of cancer. They realized that the Colgate Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet Talcum Powder she’d used throughout her life contained asbestos, and filed suit against the company for negligence. Though the company attempted to have the case against them dismissed, a judge denied their motion for summary judgment.

burden of proof

Mesothelioma Victim Used Talc from the Age of Six

In deposition testimony given before her death, the mesothelioma victim recalled having used Cashmere Bouquet, a popular body powder, from the time she was just six years old through the year 2000.  Her suit claims that asbestos in the powder led to her pleural mesothelioma, and seeks both compensatory damages and punitive damages  based on Colgate’s “reckless and wanton disregard for the health and safety of its product’s users.”

Rather than arguing that there was no asbestos in their product, Colgate-Palmolive responded by saying there had not been enough asbestos from her use of their powder to have caused her mesothelioma. They also argued that Mrs. Purser was not entitled to punitive damages because they had taken affirmative action to make sure that their products were safe for consumers.

Judge Rules for Mesothelioma Victim and Allows Case to Continue

In his decision, Justice of the New York Supreme Court Adam Silvera noted that the mesothelioma victim’s expert witness submitted scientific studies showing that asbestos causes mesothelioma, as well as studies showing that Cashmere Bouquet contained asbestos. By contrast, Colgate-Palmolive argued that Mrs. Purser had not been exposed to “sufficient levels of asbestos” from their product to have caused her illness, basing their argument on modeling that assumed a worst-case scenario for exposure rather than trying to approximate her actual exposure.

Based on previous mesothelioma and asbestos case law, the judge said that the motion for summary judgment did not meet the standard for having their case dismissed. Though he did dismiss the request for punitive damages, he said that the evidence the company used to support their argument did not fit the exposure that Mrs. Purser had experienced, and that they had also confused her burden of proof with their own. Their petition was denied and the case will move forward.

FREE Financial Compensation Packet

  • Info on law firms that will recover your HIGHEST COMPENSATION
  • Learn how to get paid in 90 days
  • File for your share of $30 billion in trust funds
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.

Connect with Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger