A federal court in New Jersey has granted final approval to the settlement of class claims in litigation alleging that Hydroxatone deceived consumers by offering beauty products with risk-free trial offers and auto-shipment programs that, in fact, consisted of customer-service practices that failed to credit product returns or to cancel membership in the auto-shipmentprograms. Sabol v. Hydroxatone, LLC, No. 11-4586 (U.S. Dist. Ct., D.N.J., decided November 22, 2013). Additional information about the motion for preliminary approval of the settlement appears in the February 14, 2013, issue of Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s Product Liability Litigation Report.
In approving the settlement, the court overruled objections filed by the named plaintiff in a rival action. Lisa Margolis apparently refused to partici- pate in the Sabol negotiations, and, instead, sought to consolidate her case with Sabol’s and revise the alleged facts in her dispute with the defendants. Margolis also added defendants and alleged that their free-trial program differed in some respects from the programs offered by the defendants.She also objected to the amount of the settlement. Analyzing her arguments under Third Circuit precedent, the court concluded that Margolis’s claims were included in the Sabol settlement agreement and characterized her objection as “at least in part, the continuation by other means of a struggle among counsel for control of the litigation.”
Each class member will be eligible for awards between $40 and $100 or forreplacement products. The settlement’s total value is approximately $10 million.