CHICAGO — A class action lawsuit has been filed in Chicago federal court by parents against the makers of Babyganics sunscreen for allegedly falsely advertising its products as providing a sun protection factor (SPF) of over 50.
Babyganics is a mineral-based sunscreen marketed for parents of babies. Babyganics sprays and lotions are manufacturered by S. C. Johnson & Son Inc. and VMG Partners LLC, who are named as defendants in the complaint. The sprays and lotions are marked with an SPF of 50 on its packaging.
Lead plaintiffs Laura Carroll, Katherine Exo, Armand Ryden and Katharine Shaffer, who are parents, allegedly purchased Babyganics sunscreen sprays and lotions. They claim that the manufacturers misrepresented the SPF of its Babyganics products because the level of sunscreen protection allegedly is significantly lower that SPF 50.
There are more than 100 class members in the suit representing consumers from Illinois, California and Washington. The plaintiffs also seek to represent a nationwide class of consumers who purchased Babyganics.
The class action highlights a May 2017 article by Consumer Reports that claims that Babyganics has an SPF of 25 based on test results.
In addition, the plaintiffs claim they independently tested Babyganics lotions and sprays utilizing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) method for SPF testing and found the results consistent with the Consumer Reports conclusion.
“Specifically, the results of the independent testing conducted showed that both products had an SPF of no higher than 30, and possibly much lower,” the suit claims. “An SPF of 30 offers significantly less sunscreen protection than an SPF of 50 plus.”
The plaintiffs allege that the manufacturers of Babyganics should have known the true SBF of their products and called them “reckless” for misleading consumers.
The plaintiffs also allege that the “suggestion that the products are higher than a 50 SPF - which is itself improper- is especially egregious and material because the products are specifically marketed by [the] defendants for use on babies as is evidenced by the use of the word ‘baby’ in the name of the product line.”
According to the complaint, the manufacturers were notified of the defects of Babyganics, but haven’t taken steps to address the issue.
The plaintiffs allege breach of implied contract and violation of good faith and fair dealing. They are seeking restitution and damages, class certification, pre-judgment interest, attorney's fees, costs and any further reflief the court considers appropriate.
The plaintiffs are being represented by Theodore B. Bell, Carl V. Malmstrom and Janine Lee Pollack, of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freemen & Herz, and Stephen P. DeNittis, Joseph Osefchen and Shane Prince, of DeNittis Osefchen Prince.