Faruqi & Faruqi Scores Appellate Win for Consumers in Misleading “Reef Friendly” Sunscreen Case

Timothy J. Peter Timothy J. Peter Timothy J. Peter

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E-mail: tpeter@faruqilaw.com

Lisa Omoto Lisa Omoto Lisa Omoto

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E-mail: lomoto@faruqilaw.com

Kyle J. Conway Kyle J. Conway Kyle J. Conway

Tel: (215) 277-5770
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E-mail: kconway@faruqilaw.com

On October 30, 2023, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision issued by the trial court in Richardson v. Edgewell Personal Care, Case No. 7:21-cv-08275, holding that the “Reef Friendly*” claim on the front-label of Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen was in fact misleading and that the back-label disclaimer, “*No Oxybenzone or Octinoxate” or “*Hawaii Compliant: No Oxybenzone or Octinoxate” was incomplete. The court explained, relying on its prior reasoning in Mantikas v. Kellogg Co., 910 F.3d 633, 636 (2d Cir. 2018) that a reasonable consumer “could conclude that the only substances known to harm reefs are those listed in the back-label disclaimer” when in fact that is not the case. This is because “a reasonable consumer cannot be expected to know the universe of chemicals harmful to coral reefs such that she could discern from an ingredient list describing the product’s contents in scientific terminology whether a product is in fact ‘Reef Friendly.’” In addition, the court reversed the trial court’s dismissal of Plaintiff’s breach of express warranty claim.  

The Court’s Order can be found here

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