Babyganics has agreed to pay $2.215 million to settle a mislabeling class action lawsuit filed against the company, which makes sunscreen, skin care, and laundry products marketed for use on infants.
Plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit are asking a federal court to grant preliminary approval of a settlement agreement with defendants KAS Direct and S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
Filed in September 2016 by plaintiffs Tanveer Alibhai of California and New York resident Tanya Mayhew, the false advertising lawsuit accused Babyganics of deceptive marketing and business practices to promote its brand. The defendants’ were accused of fraudulent, unfair, unlawful, and deceptive business practices that violated both New York and California laws.
The name Babyganics is deceptive, the mislabeling class action lawsuit stated, because it imparts to consumers that its products are organic, when only a small portion of the ingredients meet that definition.
“Defendant knowingly and intentionally uses the ‘Babyganics’ mark to convey to consumers that the Products are, in fact, organic,” according to the mislabeling class action lawsuit.
“Although the Products contain small quantities of organic ingredients, Defendant knowingly and intentionally selected a brand name that looks like and sounds like the word ‘organics’ in order to exploit the growing consumer demand for organic products. To ensure that consumers make the association between ‘Babyganics’ and ‘organics,’ Defendant uses packaging which is predominantly white and green and highlights graphics of leaves, flowers, and other plants. Each product is emblazoned with the name ‘Babyganics’ on the front of the label of the Products in bold type,” the lawsuit adds.
Alibhai purchased Babyganics’ mineral-based sunscreen as well as the company’s bubble bath, foaming bottle & dish soap, and toy & high chair cleaner.
It wasn’t until she applied the sunscreen to her daughter’s skin and the child broke out in a rash, that Alibhai checked the label for the ingredients and learned that the sunscreen was neither organic nor mineral-based, according to the mislabeling class action lawsuit.
Similarly, she bought the other Babyganics products because she believed them to be organic. But the bubble bath aggravated her daughter’s eczema and upon closer review of the ingredients, Alibhai discovered that none of the Babyganics products were organic, the lawsuit states.
And plaintiff Tanya Mayhew maintained that she paid a premium for Babyganics mineral-based sunscreen, mineral-based sunscreen stick, and shampoo & body wash because the labeling, advertising, packaging and information on the defendants’ website represented that the products were organic and mineral-based.
Babyganics sells a wide variety of products including baby wipes, diaper creams, shampoo and body wash, bubble bath, lip and face balms, skin moisturizing lotions, saline nasal sprays, toothpaste, teething gels, insect sprays and skin ointments to promote healing.
The settlement class includes people who made Babyganics retail purchases during the settlement class period. Class members with a proof of purchase will be entitled to a full cash refund of any purchase of a covered product.
Class members without a proof of purchase will be able to receive up to 50 percent of the purchase price, or sometimes more.