In May 2021, Valisure LLC released a statement that it had detected benzene in several brands of sunscreen products, including Johnson & Johnson sunscreens. Valisure submitted a Citizen Petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking the FDA to request a recall of the identified batches of contaminated sunscreen products. The petition contains the complete list of affected products, including the sunscreens manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

As a result, Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled all lots of one Aveeno sunscreen product and four Neutrogena sunscreen products. All of the products were aerosol sunscreen. 

Consumers were advised to stop using the recalled products and discard them. The company also instructed consumers to contact their physicians if they experienced any problems after using the aerosol sunscreen products or had questions or concerns about benzene exposure.

What is Benzene?

Benzene is a chemical that occurs due to human activities and natural processes. Natural sources of benzene include forest fires and volcanoes. 

It is also found in cigarette smoke, gasoline, and crude oil. In addition, benzene is used to manufacture dyes, pesticides, detergents, rubbers, and other products.

Short-term symptoms of exposure to benzene include:

  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Death (at very high levels)

Ingesting substances with high levels of benzene can also cause vomiting, convulsions, and stomach irritation, in addition to the above symptoms. 

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), EPA, and other organizations have identified benzene as a human carcinogen. A carcinogen is a substance that is capable of causing cancer. The NIH reports that exposure to high levels of benzene can cause leukemia and other blood disorders. 

What Should I Do If I Used Recalled Johnson & Johnson Sunscreen?

Contact a Houston product liability lawyer if you or a family member used the recalled lots of Aveeno or Neutrogena aerosol sunscreen and experienced any benzene side effects. A product liability attorney will review your case, advise you of your legal rights, and explain your options for seeking compensation for damages.

Manufacturers can be held liable for the harm caused by defective products under product liability laws. Manufacturers may be held strictly liable for manufacturing defects. 

The manufacturer is liable if:

  • The party created and manufactured the product
  • The defect existed when you purchased the product
  • You used the product 
  • The defect was the proximate and direct cause of your injury
  • You sustained damages because of the defect

Proving that the product caused your injury can be challenging. Product liability cases often require evidence from multiple expert witnesses to prove liability

Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, there could be other causes of action against the manufacturer. For example, manufacturers can be liable if they fail to warn consumers of the potential risks of using their products. They can also be held liable for failing to provide adequate instructions and warnings for use. 

If a manufacturer knew about potential danger and hid the information, they could be liable for deceptive trade tactics. Additionally, a party could be liable under general negligence laws for causing injury to another person. 

What Damages Could I Receive in a Benzene Sunscreen Lawsuit?

If you prove that the Johnson & Johnson sunscreen caused you to develop cancer or other injuries, you could receive compensation for your financial losses, pain, and suffering. 

Economic damages in a product liability claim can include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • The cost of in-home or long-term nursing or personal care
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Cost of rehabilitative therapies
  • Diminished earning capacity

However, you are also entitled to compensation for the suffering and pain you experienced because of the defective product. 

Your non-economic damages could include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Permanent impairments and disabilities
  • Mental anguish and trauma
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Proving the value of damages requires evidence. A lawyer will help you document your damages by collecting medical records, proof of financial losses, and testimony from medical experts. The greater the injuries and harm, the higher the damages. 

Holding Manufacturers Liable for Contaminated Sunscreen Products

Consumers who trusted that the products they purchased were safe and effective were allegedly exposed to a human carcinogen. These consumers deserve to be compensated for their losses.

Did you sustain injuries, or were you diagnosed with cancer after using a benzene-contaminated sunscreen product? If so, you might have cause to file an individual lawsuit or join a Johnson & Johnson sunscreen class-action lawsuit. The best way to learn about your rights and determine what you need to do is to talk with a product liability lawyer in Houston.

Contact the Houston Product Liability Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help

For more information, contact the Houston product liability law firm of Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (713) 500-5000

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