Johnson & Johnson Faces Class Action Lawsuits Related to Sunscreen Recall

Class Action Lawsuits Over Recalled Neutrogena Sunscreen Against Johnson & Johnson

 In Blog, Dangerous Drugs, Product Liability

Johnson & Johnson Sunscreen Recall Results in Class Action Lawsuits

In the wake of July’s sunscreen recall, Johnson & Johnson now finds itself being sued by multiple defendants in nationwide class-action lawsuits. The lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. stem from the presence of the carcinogen benzene in some of Johnson & Johnson’s most trusted sunscreens, Neutrogena and Aveeno.

One of the lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson (J & J) was filed on July 14, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and names Johanna Dominguez and Sharron Meijer as lead plaintiffs. People from around the country are joining the class action, seeking damages from J & J.

Why Did Johnson & Johnson Recall Sunscreen?

In July, J & J recalled all lots of five of its aerosol sunscreen products sold under the Neutrogena and Aveeno labels-all SPF levels and all sizes. These products were recalled:

  • Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen
  • Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen

The recall came after Valisure issued a report that its testing revealed the presence of benzene, which is classified as a human carcinogen, in a long list of sunscreen products. J & J subsequently issued a voluntary recall of the products above out of an abundance of caution. J & J also began an internal investigation into the cause of the benzene contamination, as it is “not an ingredient in any” of their sunscreen products.

Why is Benzene Dangerous?

Benzene is a chemical found in gasoline and oil. It is often used as a solvent to make plastic, resin, rubber, drugs, dyes, detergents, and lubricants. Tobacco smoke also contains benzene.

The chemical can cause harm through inhalation, exposure to the skin, and ingestion. The effects of benzene can vary depending on the level of exposure and method of exposure.

Short-term symptoms of benzene exposure can include dizziness, shortness of breath, vomiting, confusion, unconsciousness, and even death. The potential long-term cancer-causing effects of benzene exposure are what has consumers angry at J & J.

Benzene is a known carcinogen with a proven link to blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Exposure to benzene can cause cancer, anemia and adversely affect your immune system because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it causes your cells “not to work correctly.”

There is also evidence that women who inhale certain levels of benzene can experience irregular menstrual cycles and find their ovaries shrinking. Studies show that when pregnant animals inhale benzene, they give birth to fetuses with low birth rates, delayed bone formation, and damaged bone marrow.

Complaint Alleges Johnson & Johnson Should Have Told Consumers About Dangers of Benzene in Sunscreen

The plaintiffs in the lawsuits against J & J allege, among other things, that the company falsely advertised that the sunscreens were safe and effective, in violation of California and New York Laws. One of the complaints seeks certification of two classes- A nationwide sub-class and a New York sub-class. It is important to note that this class action EXCLUDES plaintiffs who allege the sunscreen caused them bodily harm/injury. There might be other lawsuits against J & J that seek damages for physical injuries allegedly caused by the benzene in their recalled sunscreen products.

J & J’s marketing campaigns, including commercials and labels for its Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen products, never mention the risk of benzene exposure from using them. J & J has. Instead, the complaint explains, gone out of their way to tell consumers these products are doctor recommended and are healthier, more effective options than other brands. The plaintiffs claim that, but for the marketing of these products, they would not have purchased the sunscreens which were recalled.

The complaint specifically alleges that J & J violated a slew of N.Y. and C.A. consumer laws against deceptive or false advertising and/or marketing, laws against unlawful business practices, and public policy.

If you have concerns about the safety of your sunscreen spray or lotion, you can learn more by visiting the website of the Food and Drug Administration. You can also speak to a medical professional about sun care products that do not contain high levels of benzene or high levels of other dangerous chemicals. Sunscreen can be critical to maintaining the overall health of your skin and preventing certain cancers.

At Alonso Krangle, LLP, our lawyers are reviewing injury claims related to J & J’s sunscreen recall. If you suffered personal injuries that might be the result of benzene exposure, call us to find out if you are eligible to file a lawsuit. You might be eligible to participate in the national class-action lawsuit or file an individual product liability claim.

Call Alonso Krangle, LLP, at 800-403-6191 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced product recall lawyers. Find out about your legal rights to collect compensation from Johnson & Johnson because of sunscreen containing benzene.