A federal court in California has approved a settlement between Neutrogena Corp. and a putative nationwide class of consumers who allegedly purchased the company’s “Naturals” product line of personal care products, relying on purportedly false marketing claims that the products contained “[no] harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes, [or] phthalates.” Stephenson v. Neutrogena Corp., No. 12-426 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Cal., order entered August 22, 2013).
Under the terms of the agreement, Neutrogena will change its labeling and some product packaging, which will include a statement about “the percentage of each product that is naturally derived.” The company will also reportedly establish a $1.3-million settlement fund from which class members may receive $1 per purchase of cleansers and $2 per purchase of moisturizers, for a total of $10. Attorney’s fees are capped at $500,000, and each named class representative will receive $2,000.
Neutrogena recently settled another consumer fraud suit alleging that its anti-wrinkle cream did not work as advertised. The settlement occurred after a federal court denied class certification in that action. Additional information about the court’s ruling appears in the January 31, 2013, issue of Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s Product Liability Litigation Report. See Bloomberg BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter, August 26, 2013.