Coppertone SPF Falsely Advertised, Says Lawsuit

Coppertone Sport High Performance is falsely advertised as having greater SPF protection than it actually provides causing consumers to overpay, says a new class action.

The plaintiff says that the SPF is falsely advertised at level 30, when tests show that the protection it provides to those having fun in the sun is much less. The plaintiff alleges that Coppertone manufacturers Bayer and Merck deliberately mislabel the product to squeeze more money out of consumers.

“Plaintiff and putative class members have been, and continue to be, injured by defendants’ pattern and practice of placing into the stream of commerce sunscreen products containing a false SPF number, and largely inflated UV protection numbers, which defendants manufactured, distributed, and sold,” alleges the Coppertone SPF false advertising lawsuit.

Both the lotion and spray versions of Coppertone Sport High Performance SPF are falsely advertised, according to the class action lawsuit.

The plaintiff says that the makers of the sunblock are trying to capitalize on recommendations that sunseekers use a protection of SPF 30 or higher. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of the sun’s harmful rays, according to the complaint; however, independent testing of Coppertone High Performance SPF found that it only provides a maximum SPF of 14.8.

In addition to unfairly charging more for the product, the SPF false advertising also presents a health risk to consumers, according to the class action.

“With a true SPF of only 13.9 and 14.8, the sunscreens do not even meet the minimum SPF value of 15 prescribed by their own labels, thereby subjecting users — according to those labels — to an ‘increase[d] … risk of skin cancer and early skin aging,’ not to mention sunburns,” alleges the complaint.

The makers of Coppertone Sport High Performance tested the product before selling it, alleges the plaintiff, so they must have known that their labels were falsely advertising the SPF protection.

The plaintiff is seeking damages on behalf of himself and others in the state of New Jersey who purchased Coppertone Sport High Performance SPF 30 in either lotion or spray form since Nov. 2, 2011. In addition to monetary damages, the plaintiff wants an injunction stopping Bayer and Merck from falsely advertising the SPF of the sunblock.

False Advertising

Companies who engage in deceptive advertising, and make misleading and unsubstantiated claims about their products often dupe consumers into paying more for their product than it is actually worth. Consumer protection laws protect buyers from false advertising, but sometimes it is hard to detect.

Consumers can band together to hold a company responsible for false advertising using a class action lawsuit. Those who initiate a class action lawsuit for can seek damages on behalf of themselves as well as other consumers who were duped by the false advertising.

The Coppertone Sport SPF False Advertising Lawsuit is Roseman v. Bayer Healthcare LLC, et al., Case No. 1:17­-cv-­13308, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

If you are concerned you have been tricked by false advertising, contact the experienced attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher to help evaluate your claim.

Note: Bradley/Grombacher is not representing the plaintiff in this lawsuit.