The jury in California Superior Court ordered the talc suppliers Imerys Talc America and Vanderbilt Minerals to pay $22.17 million to the family of Richard Booker, a man who died of mesothelioma in 2016.
Mesothelioma is a rare type of lung cancer that is associated with exposure to asbestos. Booker was exposed to asbestos in talcum powder while working for Dexter Midland Chemical Co. and Walter N. Boysen Paint Co.
The jury awarded his family $17.57 million in compensation for his pain and suffering, medical expenses, and wrongful death. The family was also awarded $4.6 million in punitive damages.
The verdict follows several other multi-million dollar jury awards in favor of plaintiffs who died of mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos in talcum powder.
Last year, Colgate-Palmolive was ordered to pay $1.4 million to a woman who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after using Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder — a product that some studies showed contained up to 20% asbestos during the 1970s, before asbestos was banned in cosmetic products.
Colgate-Palmolive also recently paid an undisclosed settlement in a similar talc mesothelioma lawsuit. The plaintiffs claim they were exposed to asbestos when they breathed the powder in the air.
Talc and asbestos are both silicate minerals that are often found in close proximity in the ground. Until the mid-1970s, talcum powder was commonly contaminated with asbestos.