The sunscreen lawsuits are still gaining traction, but the expectations are high. The jury trial settlements will guide how the coming cases will end. If the initial settlements are large, the affected companies will pay hefty amounts for the other claims.
Millions of people apply sunscreen daily, especially during hot months. Most of us share sunscreen products as a family, including our children and the elderly.
Unfortunately, this household product can contain potentially carcinogenic chemicals. Sunscreens such as Coppertone, Aveeno, and Neutrogena have benzene. Regular contact with high levels of benzene can cause cancers like lymphoma and leukemia.
A sunscreen lawsuit is a legal claim against sunscreen manufacturers for manufacturing products with benzene. Join the Many helps with such cases against entities such as Neutrogena, Aveeno, and Johnson & Johnson.
According to Minett Fernandez’s lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, J&J referred to and marketed sunscreen products as safe. However, they were unfit for use since they had dangerous levels of benzene.
Brief History: Benzene and Cancer
Benzene is a natural ingredient in gasoline, factory emissions, cigarette smoke, and crude oil. You’ll find this toxic chemical in pesticides, rubber, and plastic products, although it also occurs due to volcanoes and forest fires.
According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), benzene is a human carcinogen. This finding results from evidence from the American Cancer Society that it leads to acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Regular and long-term exposure to benzene links directly to blood cancers. A study in 2021 published in BMJ shows that benzene causes cancer by suppressing the immune system and encouraging chronic inflammation.
Other studies also link benzene to:
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
If you work in an environment with benzene, you are five times more likely to get cancer. The likelihood of dying from leukemia is also ten times more than an unexposed person.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) explains that you can get exposed to this carcinogen through:
- Eye or skin contact
- Skin absorption
The test results of the Johnson & Johnson sunscreen raise significant concern, which led to multiple research studies by the FDA. They show that the chemicals present in sunscreen products occur in the blood at high levels after skin application.
Overview: Recalled J&J Sunscreen Products
In May 2021, concerns arose linking benzene and sunscreen after independent testing by Valisure, an online pharmacy. They discovered that many sunscreen products have benzene levels exceeding the two ppm conditional limit.
The tests identified benzene in 78 after-sun care and sunscreen products from brands such as:
- CVS After-Sun
- Banana Boat
- Raw Elements
- TopCare Everyday
- Max Block
- CVS Health
- La Roche-Posay
- Ethical Zinc
- Up & Up
According to the tests, some Johnson and Johnson products had benzene amounts that exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s and FDA’s acceptable limits. They issued a warning about benzene in various sunscreens and sunscreen products from some manufacturers.
Valisure then submitted a citizen’s petition to the FDA, asking them to issue sunscreen recalls for any products containing any benzene. The petition elaborates that workers anticipating exposure to benzene at 0.1 ppm [part per million] concentrations should wear protective gear.
It is also a requirement outlined in the guidelines issued by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
The FDA hadn’t mandated large-scale sunscreen recalls. However, some manufacturers were unwilling to voluntarily remove sunscreen with benzene from the market.
This refusal led to the Valisure petition that caused official recalls, including:
Aveeno Sunscreen Recall
- Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen
Coppertone Sunscreen Recall
- Coppertone Sport Mineral SPF 50 aerosol sunscreen spray
- Coppertone Pure and Simple Kids SPF 50 sunscreen spray
- Coppertone Sport Spray SPF 50 aerosol sunscreen spray
- Coppertone Pure and Simple SPF 50 sunscreen spray
- Coppertone Pure and Simple Baby SPF 50 aerosol sunscreen spray
Neutrogena Sunscreen Recall
- Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen
Product liability lawyers from Join the Many have active reviews of sunscreen cancer lawsuits. These lawsuits involve people found with multiple types of cancers due to benzene. You can also participate if you suffer from these diseases due to prolonged use of the above products:
- Aplastic Anemia
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL)
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (AKL)
- Multiple Myeloma
- Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL)
- Lung Cancer
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome or pre-leukemia
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
Can Sunscreen Cause Cancer?
Benzene is among the top 20 chemicals the U.S. manufactures by volume. In sunscreen, benzene has various side effects that can cause serious health risks.
Health professionals globally recognized that benzene caused cancer years ago. Prominent organizations that classify benzene as a human carcinogen include:
- National Toxicology Program (NTP)
- International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), under the World Health Organization (WHO)
- U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA)
As a Class, I solvent, benzene interferes with cell function, as manifested in blood-related cancers and ailments.
It interferes with the normal production of white or red blood cells. This can affect your immune system and cause anemia or leukemia.
Abnormal cells may develop, increasing the risk of immune disorders, excessive bleeding, infections, and cancer.
The FDA stated that benzene shouldn’t be present in drug products. If it must be present, the levels should be below two parts per billion (ppb). The sunscreen products got recalled because they have unsafe levels of benzene.
Although sunscreen should minimize the risk of skin cancer, several popular sunscreen products contain benzene. The risks are higher if you regularly use products containing unsafe levels and directly on the skin. This includes breathing in the benzene from aerosol sunscreen.
The sunscreen class action lawsuit is still in the early stages. The cases against Johnson & Johnson were put together to form federal multi-district litigation (MDL). This litigation is out of the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida, overseen by Judge Anuraag Singhal.
MDLs assist by fast-tracking the legal process, but the plaintiffs’ cases remain separate, unlike a class action lawsuit.
The anticipated causes of action against J&J involve negligence, product liability, and strict liability claims, including:
- Breach of implied and express warranties
- Deceptive trade practices or consumer fraud
- Manufacturing defect
- Gross negligence and negligence per se
- Defective design
- Fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation
- Fraudulent concealment
- Improper warning labels or failure to warn
On 25th May 2021, the federal court in Florida received a class action: No. 0:21-cv-61103 (S.D. FL.), Meredith Serota v. Neutrogena Corp., and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies. It was one day after Valisure submitted its citizen petition.
The class action highlights that the companies failed to abide by state and federal consumer protection statutes. They omitted benzene as a component or ingredient on the list available on the sunblocks’ label.
If you purchased an affected product in the United States (except California) since 25th May 2017, you could be part of the proposed class. You can also participate if you don’t suffer any illness.
On 14th July 2021, another class-action lawsuit got submitted to a California federal court: No. 3:21-CV-05419 (N.D. Cal.), Johanna Dominguez and Sharron Meijer et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. It seeks damages or compensation for consumers who bought products that got recalled.
You could benefit from the settlement if you bought particular Aveeno and Neutrogena products between 26th May 2015 and 8th April 2022.
This settlement covers various products, including:
- Aveeno Protect + Refresh Aerosol Sunscreen
- Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion
- Neutrogena Beach Defense Aerosol Sunscreen
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Aerosol Sunscreen
- Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport Aerosol Sunscreen
- Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Face Sunscreen Lotion
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant Sunscreen Lotion
- Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Aerosol Sunscreen
There’s a discovery phase lasting between eighteen and twenty-four months. This stage focuses on scientific evidence about the presence of benzene in recalled products. It includes evidence linking these products and certain cancer types.
Once this discovery stage completes, a group of selected sunscreen cases will proceed to bellwether trials. These cases will have jury trials where the outcome will provide guidelines for settlement negotiations. These guidelines will apply to the following cases.
If the bellwether trials end in large settlements, Johnson & Johnson may have to pay hefty amounts for the remaining claims.
What to Do if You Got Exposed to Benzene
If you got exposed to high concentrations of benzene for a short period, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) proposes:
- Moving away from the source of benzene
- Taking off any clothing that may contain benzene on it
- Washing affected areas with water and soap
- Seeking medical attention as soon as possible
If you suspect pro-longed exposure to benzene, it’s best to consult a medical professional. It’s possible to measure benzene in the breath or blood; some benzene products can occur in the urine. Although these tests can identify recent benzene exposure, there’s no way to predict possible health effects in the future.
However, if you get a cancer diagnosis after using a sunscreen product, you can reach out to experts for guidance.
Sunscreen lawsuit lawyers handle all the challenges so that you can focus on treatment, recovery, and rebuilding your life. You’ll have an experienced team of legal experts to fight the case in court for you and handle all paperwork.
Sunscreen Lawsuit Statute of Limitations
Generally, product liability claims have different time limits depending on the state. However, no state has a statute of limitations for such claims under twelve months.
Most states have a two-year time limit, others have a three-year time limit, but some have more years. If the statute of limitation expires in your state, it’s possible to file your claim in a different state on time.
Engaging experts during a free case review can determine whether your case is valid.
Compensation for Benzene in Sunscreens
Getting diagnosed with any cancer type is often overwhelming and traumatic for any person. Patients handle intensive treatment with significant financial, psychological and physical pain.
Let’s say you or your loved one got exposed to one of the recalled sunscreens due to unsafe benzene levels and then later got a cancer diagnosis. In such a case, you may have a right to claim and recover damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills from the manufacturer.
Unfortunately, timely intervention is not always guaranteed survival, especially with aggressive lymphoma and leukemia. You can file a wrongful death claim if there’s a case of fatal non-Hodgkin lymphoma or leukemia.
What Are the Costs of Filing a Sunscreen Lawsuit?
Filing a Sunscreen Lawsuit requires no upfront costs. Most sunscreen lawsuit lawyers work on a contingency basis. This inconsistency means the lawyer only receives payment if you get paid.
Regardless of your financial situation, you can access attorneys who will fight on your behalf.
Leverage the Join the Many Advantage
There will be more similar lawsuits soon despite being in the early stages. If you’d like to participate in this lawsuit, ensure you discuss your case with experts and determine the best cause of action.
Join the Many thrives on the fundamental belief that the justice system exists for people like you and your loved ones. No leeway should allow big businesses to deny accountability for their failures and negligence.
If you or your loved one used a J&J sunscreen product with benzene and got cancer, you may have the right to file a lawsuit.
Join the Many is here to ensure you won’t face the fight alone. We understand all legal complexities, so we’ll help you learn and understand your rights. We’ll carefully match with a law firm with extensive experience with cases like yours.
It’s time to shake the feeling of powerlessness and confusion from your legal fight and Join the Many.