Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jury Finds Colgate-Palmolive Talcum Powder Causes Mesothelioma, Awards $13 Million.

Los Angeles County, CA  

A jury in Los Angeles County (Chatsworth) yesterday on April 28, 2015 unanimously found that Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder, which they sold from the 1930s to 1995, caused our client Judith Winkel’s malignant pleural mesothelioma.

The jury deliberated just two hours. They found that Colgate failed to warn consumers about their defective product, among other violations. The jury also found that Colgate, which denied that their product contained asbestos, was guilty of malice, which exposed Colgate to possible punitive damages.

On nearly a daily basis from 1961 to 1977, Judith Winkel used Cashmere Bouquet Talcum powder, primarily after showering. Like every other consumer, she loved the fragrance but had no idea the silky white powder could later cause one of the most insidious cancers known to medicine.

This was the first verdict ever against Colgate-Palmolive, whose army of lawyers argued that their product did not contain asbestos, that Judith Winkel did not use their product, that her life would not be shortened by mesothelioma, and that if she was exposed, the amount was too small to cause mesothelioma.

The jury disagreed, finding that Colgate’s Cashmere Bouquet Talcum Powder was 95% responsible for Judith Winkel’s mesothelioma. The evidence showed that Colgate purchased its talc from mines in Italy, North Carolina, and Montana, and the talc was contaminated with up to 20% asbestos fiber, including the most toxic form of asbestos (viz., amphibole).

The evidence also showed that scientists had begun detecting asbestos in talcum powder since 1942, but Colgate did not begin testing its Cashmere Bouquet for asbestos until 1971. At that time, Colgate was warned that their talcum powder contained dangerous levels of asbestos. But Colgate neither alerted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the health risks, nor did they warn consumers that exposure to their product could cause cancer. 

Judith, a 73 year-old retired office clerk, mother and grandmother who has been married to husband John “Cubby” Winkel since 1964, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in early 2014. She was operated on by Dr. Robert Cameron of UCLA Medical School. Dr. Cameron noted that thoracic surgeons regularly use talcum powder in mesothelioma patients to retard the spread of the tumor, but when they do so they require that the talcum powder be certified as “asbestos free.”

“This trial was about accountability,” said John Winkel. “Colgate made a dangerous product but they refused to admit it. Judy and I are thankful that the jury was not bamboozled by their shenanigans. Now we just want to enjoy the time we have.”

The case was tried by our co-counsel, David Greenstone and Chris Panatier, of Simon Greenstone Panatier  and Bartlett (SGPB). A Colgate lawyer proudly boasted before trial that they would destroy our respective law firms, the Winkels and our experts. Their lawyer also warned us that their war chest to win this case was virtually bottomless.

“While we celebrate the first verdict ever against Colgate-Palmolive, and are thankful for the jury’s service, as well as the courageous work of our colleagues at SGBP,” said Roger Worthington of Worthington & Caron, P.C. “We are also mindful that Judy continues to live with mesothelioma. She and Cubby deserve compensation, but what they really want is to be able to play with their grandchildren and tend to their garden. With Dr. Cameron’s expert guidance, we are hopeful that Judy will be eligible for experimental therapies that will buy her many more years with her grandchildren and her flowers.”

“Dr. Cameron is an incredible physician,” said Cubby. “We are so thankful for his dedication. He’s always been there for us. This is a tough cancer with a bad prognosis but we’re thankful that Dr. Cameron and his team keep searching for a cure.”

Roger Worthington
April 29, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It’s Not Too Late! Register Today for the 5th International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma!

It’s not too late to register! Join us this weekend as some of the world’s leading mesothelioma experts and advocates highlight the most promising medical advances in mesothelioma treatment and cutting-edge new research.

The 5th International Mesothelioma Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma will be held this Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Santa Monica California  at Le M√©ridien Delfina hotel, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Experts will also discuss methods of surgical removal, including the shift from extra-pleural pnuemonectomy to lung-sparing procedures, as well as the findings from the Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy (SMART) trial.

The Symposium also provides an opportunity for physicians and nurses to earn continuing medical education (CME) credit. For more information, click here or call 1-888-996-MESO (6376).

Reserve your spot today!
For a copy of the brochure, click here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

UCLA’s Innovative Approach Improves Treatment Options for Patients with Mesothelioma

In the spring 2015 edition of the UCLA quarterly newsletter, Vital Signs, UCLA’s Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program presents their innovative approach to treating this complex and difficult to treat cancer.

As one of the early pioneers for the lung-sparing Pleurectomy / Decortication (PD) over the Extrapleural Pneumonectomy surgery, Dr. Robert Cameron, director of the UCLA Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program, has long believed that leaving the lung intact and removing only the pleura and visible cancer cells surrounding the lungs is most beneficial to the patients long term survival and quality of life. According to Dr. Cameron, “There is no current treatment that will eradicate every cell, but our goal is to help patients live for a long time with their disease while maximizing their quality of life.”

After surgery, patients are then treated with a form of high dose radiation called TomoTherapy, which is delivered to the cancer site with much greater precision than common radiation therapy, patients also experience fewer negative side effects as a result of the localized treatment.

The Comprehensive Mesotheloma team at UCLA has also pioneered treatments to address tumor regrowth after the initial treatment, including immunotherapy and cryoablation. Continual low-dose administration of interferon can delay the regrowth of tumors in some patients for five to ten years. If nodules resurface, cryoablation, a minimally invasive outpatient procedure which freezes the tumor cells and kills them can also be used instead of chemotherapy.

Dr. Cameron’s team wants to approach mesothelioma care similar to the approach of treating a chronic disease such as diabetes, holistically and with continuous support. Given how rare mesothelioma is, Dr. Cameron stresses patients to be treated at a specialty cancer center like UCLA with experience and ongoing research in this disease.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cameron at UCLA please call his office at (310) 470-8980.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Early Bird Special! Register Now for the 5th International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma!


The 5th Annual Symposium will once again be held at the Le Méridien Delfina, on Saturday, May 2, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in beautiful Santa Monica, California.

Dr. Robert Cameron, is the course organizer as well as the Director of the UCLA Mesothelioma Comprehensive Research Program.  Dr. Cameron also serves as the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center and the Scientific Advisor at the Pacific Meso Center.

Dr. Cameron has over 28 years of experience with treating patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. He is an expert in lung-sparing therapies including the pleurectomy/decortication, and a number of complementary adjuvant therapies.

The Symposium is co-hosted by UCLA and the Pacific Meso Center. Joining Dr. Cameron will be several physicians and mesothelioma advocates, including:
  • Walter Weder, MD, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Marc de Perrot, MD, MSc, Toronto Mesothelioma Research General Hospital
  • Shilpen Patel, MD, FACRO, University of Washington Medical Center
  • Peter V. Chen, MD, Hoag Family Cancer Institute
  • Percy Lee, MD, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
  • Olga Olevsky, MD, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA 
  • J. Andrea McCart MD, MSc, FRCS(C), University of Toronto
  • Raymond Wong, PhD, Pacific Mesothelioma Center
  • Linda Reinstein, President/CEO and Co-Founder ADAO
The Symposium highlights the most promising medical advances in mesothelioma treatment and cutting-edge new research. Experts will also discuss methods of surgical removal, including the shift from extra-pleural pnuemonectomy to lung-sparing procedures, as well as the findings from the Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy (SMART) trial.


The Symposium also provides an opportunity for physicians and nurses to earn continuing medical education (CME) credit. For more information, click here or call 1-888-996-MESO (6376).

Register by April 17th to receive Early Bird pricing! To register for the symposium, click here.

For a copy of the brochure, click here.