A federal court in California has preliminarily approved a settlement of putative class claims alleging that Gerber Childrenswear violated state consumer protection laws by failing to disclose that its tagless clothing labels contained elevated levels of phthalates, which can purportedly cause skin irritation and rashes in infants and children. Montanez v. Gerber Childrenswear, LLC, No. 09-7420 (U.S. Dist. Ct., C.D. Cal., order entered April 5, 2013). The court order includes a timetable for class notification and schedules an October 7, 2013, fairness hearing.
According to a news source, Gerber has agreed to reimburse purchasers from a $200,000 "replenishing fund" that the company will refill when it is exhausted and will remove the clothing from the marketplace. Class members whose children wore the garments and experienced skin irritation will be able to recover the purchase price as well as expenses incurred from the alleged injury. Those whose claims do not include physical injury will receive discounts for purchases of the company’s clothing. See Law360, April 8, 2013.