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A consumer lawsuit filed March 30, 2006, accuses sunscreen makers of exposing millions of people to cancer and other dangers through false and misleading claims about the effectiveness of their products, according to a report featured by Yahoo News. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, consolidates nine previous lawsuits filed by individuals and seeks class action status.
According to the story, it charges that makers of sunscreen inflate claims about the quality of these products, giving a false sense of security over prolonged sun exposure. The lawsuit reportedly did not make any claims of personal injury; it focused on labels that claim the sunscreens protect against the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays and also claims of how long sunscreens promoted as waterproof remain effective in water.
According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, Samuel Rudman of the Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins law firm said, "Sunscreen is the snake oil of the 21st century." The firm filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court. "False claims such as 'sunblock,' 'waterproof' and 'all-day protection' should be removed from these products immediately," said Rudman, according to the report.
The suit also alleged that parents were misled into believing their children were protected as a result of claims in labels for products aimed specifically at children. One spokesman for a major manufacturer claimed the company markets sun protection products in compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations and the products are safe and effective when used as directed.
The suit seeks refunds for consumers purchasing falsely advertised sunscreen and is aimed toward forcing manufacturers to give up earnings from the sales of any such products.