A consumer lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court accuses sunscreen makers of exposing millions of innocent people to cancer by making false claims on their products.
The suit, which is a combination of nine other lawsuits, has named manufacturers like Coppertone, Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic, Bullfrog and Neutrogena. It says that by inflating the claims of protection against skin cancer, these companies are putting consumers at risk of getting the disease on prolonged sun exposure. Law firms of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP and Abraham Fruchter & Twersky LLP have filed the lawsuit, but no claim is made on a personal injury basis. Johnson & Johnson Inc., Schering-Plough Corp., Playtex Products Inc., Tanning Research Laboratories Inc. and Chattem Inc have been named as defendants in the lawsuit. The suit seeks to ask manufacturers about the tall claims made on their products, which apparently confer protection against the harmful UVA and UVB rays, which cause skin cancer. "Schering-Plough misled ... the general public by representing that their Coppertone Water Babies UVA/UVB Sunblock Lotion provided 45 times a child's natural protection against both UVA and UVB rays," according to the suit. But a spokeswoman for the company, Denise Foy said that they did not comment on specific matters, "But labeling and advertising for all Schering-Plough products, including sun care, are developed in compliance with all applicable laws and FDA regulations."