Merck Reaches Settlement on False Ad Suit for Copptertone

Merck Reaches Settlement on False Ad Suit for Copptertone

September 27th, 2012 // 2:21 pm @


In an effort to make the legal equivalent of sunburn go away, Merck has agreed to pay between $3 million and $10 million to settle a consumer class action lawsuit that was filed over allegations the drugmaker falsely advertised the attributes of the venerable Coppertone sunscreen line of products to protect against ultraviolet rays.

As part of the deal, Merck agreed not to use the terms “sunblock,” “waterproof,” “sweatproof,” “all day” and/or “all day protection” in the Coppertone labeling, advertising, marketing or promotion. And Coppertone products must contain labels that comply with federal law, according to the settlement agreement (read here. And this is the lawsuit).

As for consumers, those who can prove they purchased a Coppertone product after July 31, 2006, will receive up to just $1.50 each, subject to various adjustments. Merck, meanwhile, denies that anyone was harmed by the conduct alleged against the drugmaker, which inherited the Coppertone line as part of its $41 billion acquisition of Schering-Plough three years ago, and reached the settlement to spare further litigation costs.

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