Benzene Suits Against US Personal-Care Firms Appear Headed In One Direction: Settlement
The latest in litigation against Unilever, P&G, Beiersdorf and J&J alleging violations for selling personal-care products contaminated with benzene.
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The agency is calling for an ISO 17025-accredited or equivalent partner to screen selected drug products for benzene, following a rash of sunscreen, antiperspirant and other OTC drug product recalls which triggered a rush on testing laboratories, as well as class action filings across the US.
Do reasonable consumers expect that a hand sanitizer advertised as lethal to 99.99% of germs will protect them against 99.99% of pathogens on the planet? Can a federal court address that point at the pleadings stage? Such questions will fall to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit following dismissal of a putative class action against Vi-Jon in 2021 by California’s Southern District.
Already in receipt of more than $9m in refund requests from purchasers of potentially benzene-contaminated Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen products following a July 2021 recall, J&J now is finalizing a US multidistrict class action settlement that will add to those costs and require steps to prevent further benzene issues.