With the fourth baby powder cancer trial is currently underway, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) decided to throw in the towel with another lawsuit over its baby products. J&J agreed to settle the class action lawsuit over fraudulent marketing claims on its Bedtime Baby line of products.
The original lawsuit, which was filed in July 2015, claimed the company engaged in fraudulent, deceptive, and false advertising, sales, and marketing practices. The company’s products line boasted claims the products were clinically proven to help babies sleep better. Advertisements encouraged parents to utilize the products in nighttime routines to help their children sleep, but the lawsuit alleges the company knew this was a false statement. There have been no clinical studies supporting the claim the products help babies sleep.
The company’s Bedtime Baby products include Bedtime Baby Bath, Bedtime Baby Lotion, Bedtime Baby Moisture Wash, Bedtime Washcloths, and Bedtime Baby Bubble Bath & Wash.
It would be optimistic to think J&J learned its lesson with this lawsuit. The reality is the company has agreed to pay a measly $5 million to reimburse hundreds of thousands of consumers. With a proof of purchase, consumers can receive approximately $3 for up to 10 purchased products. Considering the company’s consumer products division accounts for millions of dollars in sales each year, the settlement is barely a drop in the bucket for the company.
The company might have decided to settle solely to free up resources to fight the growing number of baby powder cancer lawsuits. J&J is facing thousands of pending lawsuits, but the litigation has the potential to grow into the tens of thousands. The company already lost three baby powder trials so far, and more are scheduled for the near future. For J&J, the resolution of these lawsuits will be much more than the $5 million it’s paying out for the Bedtime Baby products.