By Bill Berkrot
Sept 25 (Reuters) - Merck & Co has agreed to pay between $3
million and $10 million to settle a nearly decade old
class-action lawsuit that alleged the company made false claims
about the benefits of its Coppertone sunscreen products.
Merck acquired the popular Coppertone franchise in 2009 when
it bought U.S. rival Schering-Plough Corp, and thereby inherited
the 2003 lawsuit.
Merck denied any wrongdoing or liability or that anyone was
harmed by the allegedly exaggerated claims for Coppertone sprays
and lotions cited in the lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of
It agreed to the settlement "solely for the purpose of
avoiding the burden, expense, risk and uncertainty of continuing
to litigate those issues," the company said in the settlement
agreement filed last Friday in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey.
Merck agreed that all Coppertone sunscreen products
manufactured on or after June 22, 2012 for sale in the United
States, its territories and possessions, will not use the terms
"sunblock," "waterproof," "sweatproof," "all day" and/or "all
day protection" in the label, advertising, marketing or
promotion of the products.
Once the settlement becomes final, members of the class who
bought the Coppertone products at issue will be able to submit a
claim worth up to $1.50 for each eligible sunscreen product
Merck spokesman Ron Rogers said all Coppertone products meet
the latest standards for broad-spectrum sun protection set by
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and added they carry
product information consistent with the FDA standards.
Follow us on Twitter @ReutersLegal | Like us on Facebook