A New York woman is suing luxury company Chanel alleging long-term use of its talcum powder products were contaminated with asbestos and caused her to develop mesothelioma, Law360 reported.

Dolores Gomez filed the lawsuit in May in New York state court. She claims the Chanel talc products she purchased at Publix and Woolworth stores (now Foot Locker Inc.) and used from 1961 to 1991 as part of her daily hygiene, exposed her to asbestos, a known carcinogen linked to mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer. She says Chanel knew that its talc could become contaminated with asbestos, but the company failed to warn consumers.

“The defendants continue to market, advertise and expressly represent to the general public that it is safe for women to use their product regardless of application,” Gomez said in her complaint.

The filing came just days after consumer health care giant Johnson & Johnson announced it was discontinuing sales of its iconic Johnson’s baby powder in the U.S. and Canada due to declining sales and mounting lawsuits alleging its talcum powders caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. The lawsuit also follows an October 2019 announcement by Johnson & Johnson that it was recalling some of its baby powder after testing revealed some bottles contained asbestos fibers.

Gomez’s lawsuit claims that beginning in the 1930s there was evidence that talc is commonly contaminated with carcinogens like asbestos. “Within the next several decades, an ever-growing body of medical and scientific literature demonstrated that direct and secondary exposure to talc, including asbestos-containing talc, was hazardous to exposed person’s health in that it could cause lung disease, cancer and death,” Gomez said in the complaint.

Beasley Allen lawyers Ted Meadows and Leigh O’Dell are heading up the team handling claims of ovarian cancer linked to talcum powder use for feminine hygiene. Our attorneys are also handling mesothelioma claims. They are looking at cases of industrial, occupational and secondary asbestos exposure resulting in lung cancer or mesothelioma as well as claims of asbestos-related talc products linked to mesothelioma.

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