On Friday, October 8th, 2021, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) consolidated suits related to Johnson & Johnson Sunscreen Products, sending claims to U.S. District Judge Anuraag Singhal in the Southern District of Florida. The lawsuits were filed against Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) and Costco Wholesale Corporation by a group of plaintiffs alleging J&J’s Aveeno and Neutrogena-branded sunscreen products were contaminated with benzene, a carcinogen.
In July 2021, J&J voluntarily recalled Aveeno and Neutrogena spray sunscreen products citing “internal testing identified low levels of Benzene in some samples of the products.” The order states that two months prior to its recall, Valisure, an analytical pharmacy, reported that after testing “numerous lots of spray and lotion sunscreen products from various manufacturers” J&J’s products “contained excessive levels of benzene.” Benzene has been linked to the risk of leukemia and other forms of cancer.
J&J and at least one other plaintiff supported the venue selection of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at the JPML hearing that preceded the consolidation order. Its selection was attributed to “convenience of the parties and witnesses.” The first filed case is also in front of Judge Singhal.
The order acknowledges that all of the actions on motion are consumer class action cases, specifically stating that the Panel is not addressing the transfer of personal injury actions at this time.
The order can be found here.
The case is: IN RE: Johnson and Johnson Aerosol Sunscreen Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation.
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