Johnson & Johnson Sunscreen Product Settlement (Neutrogena & Aveeno)

Johnson & Johnson Sunscreen Product Settlement (Neutrogena & Aveeno)

A class action settlement has been brought against Johnson & Johson accusing its sunscreen products of Aveeno and Neutrogena of containing carcinogens.  Johnson & Johnson is a big name in the consumer product industry and owns numerous personal care brands including Aveeno and Neutrogena. Sunscreen products are offered by both these brands but according to the company website, they might not be safe for use. Johnson & Johnson recalled various Aveeno and Neutrogena sunscreens in July 2021 after the presence of benzene was revealed by third-party testing.

Benzene is a human carcinogen that is infamous for causing lymphoma, leukemia, and similar blood-related cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, it is mainly used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries as a starting material for lubricants, plastics, dyes, rubbers, drugs, detergents, and pesticides. It is a natural part of cigarette smoke, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline, and crude oil which is increasingly being linked with leukemia and other types of cancer in blood cells. Johnson & Johnson tried reassuring consumers by saying that the daily exposure to benzene from using these aerosol sunscreen products is not expected to cause adverse health consequences according to its testing results.

On 2nd June 2020, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Johnson & Johnson including all states except California led by plaintiff Meredith Serota who purchased two bottles of $8.99 Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray SPF 100+ and four bottles of $12.99 Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face Mist SPF 55 from Target. She accused Johnson & Johnson of violating various federal and state laws through non-disclosure of benzene on the sunscreen labels.

Serota was misled by the false claims of Johnson & Johnson making her unaware of the fact that the sunscreens might be adulterated with benzene. She bought the sunscreen products based on the assumption that product labeling was accurate and they were safe, unadulterated, and effective. Serota further added that she wouldn’t have bought the products if she had known about its benzene contamination.

The health hazards of benzene have been recognized for more than one hundred years. Valisure LLC and ValisureRX LLC, an analytical pharmacy ran tests on a variety of Neutrogena sunscreens in 2020 and discovered certain products contained benzene. Some of these products contained as much as 2 parts per million. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, protective equipment should be worn by workers expecting exposure to benzene at 0.1 ppm concentrations and defines “skin absorption” as an exposure route. None of the Neutrogena or Aveeno Sunscreen products have listed benzene as an active or inactive ingredient.

A petition was filed by Valisure in May 2021 with the Food and Drug Administration requesting the agency to recall Neutrogena and Aveeno batch sunscreens containing 0.1 ppm or more of benzene. Finally, the recalls were announced by Johnson & Johnson on 14th July 2021. Plaintiffs took legal action against the company shortly after Johnson & Johnson recalled its products. As per the class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, customers were unaware of the fact that they were exposing themselves to a dangerous carcinogen by purchasing and using the sunscreens. Johnson & Johnson offered a refund program following the recall. Consumers simply had to fill out a form on J&J’s Consumer Care Center’s website and provide the name of the product, its size, and the number of items bought.

But plaintiffs in various class action lawsuits feel that the responsibility of the company doesn’t end here and they should be held legally liable for selling contaminated products. Although Johnson & Johnson has not admitted any wrongdoing, they have agreed to resolve the sunscreen multidistrict litigation with a $1.75 million settlement. Other than cash payment, various non-monetary reliefs will also be offered by Johnson & Johnson under the terms of this class action settlement. They have agreed to get its raw materials tested for benzene contamination and avoid further adulteration in its consumer-end products. According to the settlement agreement, the testing will be undertaken by a third party. The last date for objecting to excluding oneself from this class action settlement is 7th July 2022.

Eligibility for Making Claim: Class Members constitute consumers who bought certain Aveeno and Neutrogena spray sunscreen products between 26th May 2015 and 8th April 2022.

The products covered under this settlement are:

  • Neutrogena Beach Defense Aerosol Sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport Aerosol Sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Aerosol Sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Aerosol Sunscreen
  • Aveeno Protect + Refresh Aerosol Sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant Sunscreen Lotion
  • Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Face Sunscreen Lotion
  • Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion

Proof Of Purchase: Class members do not require to submit any proof of purchase.

Potential Claim Amount: Class members are eligible to receive product vouchers worth up to $21.16 based on the number of products purchased. Every voucher is worth $10.58 and every household can claim up to two purchased products with a maximum payment ceiling of $21.16. Aerosol products cannot be purchased with the vouchers which will be valid and remain transferable for at least 12 months. The voucher amounts might be decreased proportionately if the number of claims filed and the total claimed voucher value is more than $1.75 million.

Settlement Website:
Claim Form: Claim Form (
Deadline For Submitting Claim: 07/07/2022
Final Hearing Date: 08/12/2022
Settlement Amount: $1.75 million