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Jury returns $29.1M verdict in mesothelioma suit

By: S.C. Lawyers Weekly staff//April 18, 2023

Jury returns $29.1M verdict in mesothelioma suit

By: S.C. Lawyers Weekly staff//April 18, 2023

Action: Negligence and tort

Amount: $29.1 million

Injuries alleged: Mesothelioma by asbestos in talc

Case name:  Plant v. Avon Products Inc., et al

Court/case no.: Richland County Common Pleas/No. 2022-CP-40-01265

Jury and/or judge: Jury/Judge Jean H. Toal

Date of verdict: March 3, 2023

High-low agreement: No

Special damages: $871,356, past medical bills; $3,268,336, life care plan; $20 million, non-economic damages; $5 million, loss of consortium

Attorneys for plaintiff: Theile McVey of Kassel McVey, Columbia; Jessica Dean of DOB+S, Dallas

Attorneys for defense: Robert Thackston and Stephanie Flynn, of Fox Rothchild/Lathrop GPM (WCD); Elizabeth O’Neill, Ted Roberts and Todd Carroll, of Womble, Bond, Dickinson (IMI Fabi)

The plaintiff, 36, is the mother of three. She was diagnosed with mesothelioma two years ago after having no known occupational exposure to asbestos. According to plaintiff’s counsel, the only asbestos exposure she had was to talc found in body powders and makeup.
The plaintiff had baby powder used on her when she was a baby and throughout the years. She also used makeup products that contained talc.
According to plaintiff’s counsel, talc and asbestos run and grow together. As the companies were mining for talc, they also scooped up asbestos. Asbestos cannot be processed out of the talc. All of the exposures to asbestos containing talc caused the plaintiff’s mesothelioma, plaintiff’s counsel argued.
Plaintiff’s counsel tried the case with Jessica Dean, Rachel Gross and Mark Buha, from Dean, Omar, Branham & Shirley of Dallas. Mary Kay and Color Techniques resolved during the trial. Whittaker Clarke & Daniels and IMI Fabi went to verdict. The verdict against Whittaker Clarke & Daniels found negligence, strict liability and breach of warranty.

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