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Sunscreen complaints could spark product liability claims

Slathering up with sunscreen prior to hitting the pool or heading out on a hike is an important part of maintaining healthy skin. Consumers in Ohio should be able to make sunscreen purchases with the confidence that their purchase will not only be safe to use, but also effective at protecting them from the sun's damaging rays. The Honest Company -- which is owned by Jessica Alba -- could be facing product liability suits from consumers who claim that it manufactured sunscreen that is ineffective at protecting them.

Aside from complaints that were made directly to The Honest Company, customers who claim they experienced sunburns after using the company's sunscreen took pictures of the burns that were then posted on various social media websites. One customer on Twitter complained that the company did not bother to respond to her concerns. Another customer claimed that she tried out the sunscreen on two separate occasions and experienced serious sunburns both times.

The Honest Company has released a statement claiming that it remains committed to creating safe products that are also effective. It also asserted that the number of complaints is actually quite small and that the sunscreen is indeed effective at protecting people from the sun during outdoor activities. However, the formula for The Honest Company's sunscreen changed early on in 2015, and one of the most common active ingredients in sunscreen -- zinc oxide -- was slashed by over half. While the original formula had approximately 20 percent zinc oxide, the new formula has only 9.3 percent.

While no link has been established between the reduced amount of zinc oxide and the sudden onslaught of consumer complaints, the two incidents may be related. Sunburns can be seriously damaging to the skin, especially for people with certain conditions or a history of cancer. When products intended to help and protect people fail, it is often necessary for Ohio victims to attempt to recover damages through the successful handling of a product liability claim against the manufacturer and/or other parties in the consumer supply chain.

Source: etonline.com, "Jessica Alba's 'Honest' Sunscreen Under Fire After Customers Post Sunburned Pics", Alex Ungerman, Aug. 3, 2015

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