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Criminal investigation may complicate talcum powder suits

Consumer protections have come a long way since the old proverb "caveat emptor," meaning "let the buyer beware." Courts in Louisiana and many other states are empowered to order damages due to faulty products and falsified results surrounding them.

One of the largest group of product liability lawsuits surround asbestos, a crystalline mineral used for centuries because of its resistance to flame. It appears the dust of the material is implicated in several types of cancer, including mesothelioma, which may be solely caused by asbestos exposure.

A more recent set of claims specifically involve talcum powder, which has been marketed as a personal hygiene and dryness aid for decades. Many lawsuits claim that a manufacturer of talcum powder knew about the risk of asbestos in their talc powder products well before it was publicized.

Cases in civil courts are possible even when criminal liability hasn't been proven. For example, the manufacturer has already been ordered to pay millions in damages by civil courts in multiple states while the U.S. Justice Department is still investigating possible criminal charges against the company due to possible withholding of vital information from consumers.

Federal authorities have been investigating the firm since the outbreak of lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions. A criminal conviction or plea bargain may strengthen future claims.

People suffering from mesothelioma potentially due to asbestos in talcum powder may have a case for financial damages that may help with health care and recovery as well as compensation for noneconomic losses. Legal representation may help sort out the possibility of such a claim and get a claim started in the appropriate court.

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