Allergic Reactions Prompt Lip Balm Class Action

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Helen Jones
Executive Vice President 

On January 12, 2016, eos Products, LLC (“EOS”) became the target of a class action suit over its colorful, pod-shaped lip balms. In the complaint it is alleged that tens of thousands of consumers, spanning all genders, ages, and races, experienced adverse reactions to the company’s celebrity-endorsed product. The adverse reactions cited included moderate to severe “rashes, dryness, bleeding, blistering, cracking and loss of pigmentation,” which in certain circumstances resulted in permanent injury.

Putative class representative, Rachael Cronin, purchased the company’s “Summer Fruit” lip balm at a Target retail store on December 4, 2015. Despite the packaging containing no warnings about potential side effects, within hours of use, Cronin claimed her lips started bleeding due to severe dryness and cracking. Three days later, Cronin sought medical attention for blisters and rashes that developed around her mouth. The condition lasted for ten days.

Cronin posted a picture of her lip balm-induced boils on Facebook and thereafter realized that other EOS consumers experienced similar problems. She filed a lawsuit against EOS in the Central District of California, alleging fraud, unjust enrichment, breach of express warranty, and violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the California Unfair Business Practice Act. In response, EOS has issued a statement on its Facebook page that reads, in part, “we firmly believe this lawsuit is without merit, and we will continue to create new and existing products that delight our customers.”

The lip balm products at issue are: Blackberry Nectar, Coconut Milk, Strawberry Sorbet, Blueberry Acai, Pomegranate Raspberry, Summer Fruit, Sweet Mint, Honeysuckle Honeydew, Lemon Drop and Medicated Tangerine.

The case is: Cronin v. eos Products, LLC, Docket No. 2:16-cv-00235 (C.D. Cal.).

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