Johnson & Johnson’s recall of sunscreens that contained dangerous levels of benzene only scratches the surface, according to lawyers who are preparing for more lawsuits and more recalls.
On July 14, Johnson & Johnson announced it voluntarily recalled five product lines, all aerosol spray sunscreens under the Aveeno and Neutrogena brands, citing internal testing that identified low levels of benzene, a known carcinogen, in some samples. At least nine lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson and other sunscreen manufacturers, including the makers of the popular Banana Boat product.
The cases all focus on consumer fraud, unjust enrichment and breach-of-warranty claims, not personal injuries. Most cite a much more expansive list of products than those Johnson & Johnson recalled.
And lawyers say there’s a lot more to come.
“It’s a good step for J&J to make that acknowledgment and recall products they currently tested, but it doesn’t cover the waterfront,” said R. Jason Richards, of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz in Pensacola, Florida. “This will continue to happen. As long as J&J set the tone by acknowledging their products contained benzene, I’d imagine the other manufacturers, to the extent their products contain benzene, will follow suit, and more manufacturers will be recalling their products, as well should.”