Johnson & Johnson, Costco Wholesale Corp. and a group of consumers told a Florida federal judge that they have reached a tentative agreement to resolve multidistrict litigation alleging J&J sunscreen products were tainted with the carcinogen benzene.
The parties said they have reached an “agreement in principle” to settle the lawsuits over certain Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen products that have since been rolled into multidistrict litigation and moved from courts in New York, New Jersey, Florida and California to be centralized before U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal in the Southern District of Florida.
The proposed class actions — filed by Katherine Brennan, Michelle Mang, Meredith Serota, Jacob Somers, Fredric Salter, Carman Grisham, Kyra Harrell, Judith Barich, Lauren Harper, Kelly Granda, Heather Rudy and Dina Casaliggi — largely allege that J&J unlawfully failed to inform consumers that the sunscreen products contain benzene, which has been linked to leukemia and other forms of cancer.
Costco was sued for its role in selling the sunscreen products at issue.
J&J subsidiary Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. on July 14 voluntarily recalled five Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen spray product lines. JJCI said in a statement at the time that “internal testing identified low levels of benzene in some samples of the products.” The company also said it would provide refunds for the products.