A jury awarded Mr. Depoian $18 million in a mesothelioma lawsuit against Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, the largest talcum powder product supplier in the United States.
Mr. Depoian suffers from two forms of cancer: peritoneal (abdominal) mesothelioma and pleural (lung) mesothelioma. His mesothelioma is a result of a lifetime of exposure to talcum powder products that may have been contaminated with asbestos.
Asbestos exposure commonly takes place at construction sites or in old buildings, but Mr. Depoian’s only known source of exposure had been through talcum powder products like Old Spice, produced by Whittaker, Clark & Daniels. His case is similar to the thousands of talcum powder lawsuits that have been made against Johnson & Johnson for their baby powder and Shower to Shower products that, when used for feminine hygiene, have caused ovarian cancer.
Evidence presented to the jury showed that even though Whittaker, Clark & Daniels claimed its talcum powder products were asbestos-free, the company only performed limited testing, allowing billions of asbestos particles to escape detection.
The United States federal government banned asbestos use in talcum powder products all the way back in 1973.
The Depoian award is record-breaking in its dollar amount, but it is hardly the first large settlement in a mesothelioma case. In 2015, a jury awarded $13 million to Judith Winkel, who had contracted mesothelioma from exposure to Cashmere Bouquet, a Colgate-Palmolive company talcum powder product.
Because symptoms of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness can take decades to appear, people continue to develop mesothelioma due to exposure when they were younger. In fact, nearly 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year in the United States.
Victims like Mr. Depoian may face lifelong medical bills and lost wages, not to mention the hardship of living with mesothelioma itself. The financial burden may pass on to family members. For many, mesothelioma lawsuits are the only way to get the compensation victims and their families deserve.