Held v. L’Oreal U.S.A., Inc.

Posted: 05/19/2016  browse the case archive

The parties involved in the case Held v. Levlad, LLC, et al. executed a Consent Judgment on May 19, 2016.  In this matter, citizen enforcer Anthony E. Held, Ph.D., P.E. alleged that L’Oreal U.S.A., Inc. (“L’Oreal”) sold SPF products (including sunscreen products, and products such as face creams, body lotions, lip balms, and other sun protection products) containing the chemical benzophenone in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.  

As part of the agreement, L’Oreal agreed not to sell any SPF products in California after June 1, 2018 unless the final finished products contain no more than 50 parts per million (“ppm”) of benzophenone when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies.  L’Oreal shall also provide suppliers with the reformulation standard and instruct them to provide products that comply expeditiously.  Should L’Oreal provide Held with certification by June 15, 2018 that all SPF products sold in California contain less than 35 ppm of benzophenone, Held has agreed to waive a portion of the civil penalty that would otherwise be applied.

The Consent Judgment required settlement payments of $233,500, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to whistleblower Held and his counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.   

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