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Another large verdict casts doubt on talcum powder

Residents of Louisiana are all too familiar with major public health concerns. The industries based along the lower Mississippi River Valley have earned the area the unfortunate name of "Chemical Alley," and thousands of workers who operated shipyards and construction companies faced exposure to asbestos. The substance is thought to be connected to mesothelioma, a particularly difficult form of cancer to treat.

Meanwhile, a new threat has been exposed over the last year or so across the country, and some people in the Bayou State are feeling some of the pain. A major health products manufacturer is under fire in several jurisdictions for the dangers inherent in talcum powder. Talc has been used to absorb moisture in personal hygiene for decades, but many of the industrial sources for the powder have been found to be contaminated with asbestos.

One of the most recent court actions regarding talcum powder involves a jury verdict ordering the manufacturer to pay more than $37 million to four sets of people who claimed the product caused their cases of mesothelioma. The case involved more than two months of testimony and ended with the judge taking the unusual step of striking the defendant's entire closing argument.

The maker still claims that their talcum powder does not contain asbestos or any other carcinogen. But juries in Missouri, New Jersey and other states have disagreed, confirming a belief that these claims may be wrong or fraudulent.

People who suffered after use of talcum powder may have a similar case for financial damages to help with medical care and other related expenses. An attorney can help size up the specifics of a case and determine if it belongs in civil court.

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