A federal court in Ohio has reportedly given preliminary approval to a settlement reached in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) alleging that a new type of disposable diaper caused severe diaper rash in some children. In re: Dry Max Pampers Litig., No. 10-00301 (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. Ohio, W. Div., order entered June 7, 2011). A final approval hearing has apparently been scheduled for September 28, 2011.
Under the proposed settlement, which would resolve 12 lawsuits consolidated in an MDL in June 2010, a nationwide class of consumers would be certified and Procter & Gamble would include on its product labels and Website information about treating diaper rash. The company has also agreed to fund “a pediatric resident training program at leading children’s health centers in the area of skin health” at $150,000 per year for two years. The company would also sponsor a skin health program with the American Academy of Pediatrics in the amount of $50,000 per year for two years. The company has further agreed to reinstate its money-back guarantee program for consumers who purchased certain of its diaper brands. Class members will not be precluded from bringing individual lawsuits for personal injury or actual damages. Attorney’s fees up to $2.73 million would be included in the settlement, and $1,000 per child will be awarded to representative plaintiffs, if the settlement is finally approved.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission was unable to link the use of Pampers diapers with Dry Max™ to diaper rash. Additional information about its findings appears in the September 16, 2010, issue of this Report. Still, the agency reportedly received more than 4,500 incident reports related to the products between April and August 2010. See BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter, June 20, 2011.