If you bought Coppertone sunscreen recently, you may be entitled to some cash back. Their parent company, Merck & Co, has agreed to pay $3 million-$10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over reported false claims about the benefits of Coppertone’s products.
Since late 2003, several lawsuits were filed against Schering-Plough (the then owner of Coppertone), alleging they made false claims about the effectiveness of its sunscreens. After years in a legal battle, Merck has now agreed to the multi-million dollar payout. But if you think you’re going to get rich off of this, sorry, you’re not. They have consented to pay up to $1.50 for each Coppertone sunscreen product bought from July 2006 that is submitted to the settlement.
Of course, Merck denies any exaggerations or harmfulness in its marketing claims and says they are settling ”solely for the purpose of avoiding the burden, expense, risk and uncertainty of continuing to litigate those issues.” But still…a whole $1.50! What ever will we do with such a windfall?
In addition to the payout, Merck agreed that all Coppertone sunscreen products manufactured on or after June 22 of this year for sale in the U.S. will not use the terms “sunblock,” “waterproof,” “sweatproof,” “all day” and/or “all day protection” on the label or in any advertising. Right now, their website promotes the products as “water resistent” and “stays on strong when you sweat.” Not a major difference, but enough to cost them millions in what appears to be just another petty lawsuit attempting to cash in on the big guys. No one is identifying any major harm or deaths as a result of using their product.
Once the settlement becomes final, members of the class who bought the Coppertone products will be able to submit a claim. If you believe you are entitled to your buck 50, contact Merck here.