Not-So-Beautiful News: $100 Million Lawsuit

All-natural and organic products are at the top of some beauty consumers’ priority lists. For others, the products need to be cruelty-free or they’re not buying. Regardless of what you first look for in a product, you should feel confident that what you’re reading on the label of your favorite foundation is true.

On February 16, 2012, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced that Estée Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay had been removed from its “cruelty free” list of companies that do not test on animals after it was discovered that the companies were indeed performing animal testing. PETA subsequently downgraded the companies and listed them on PETA’s list of companies that do conduct animal testing.

On February 29, 2012, Eagan Avenatti, LLP announced the filing of a class action lawsuit against all three companies on behalf of American consumers who were deceived by the companies’ false and misleading representations relating to animal testing of their products.

The Class Action complaint alleges that Estée Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay purposely defrauded consumers by falsely claiming that their products were cruelty-free. In reality, the companies had begun testing various cosmetic products on animals. The complaint further alleges that the companies deliberately misled the American public by claiming their products were cruelty free at the same time the companies undertook animal testing in order to sell their products in China and profit from hundreds of millions of dollars in Chinese sales. The complaint seeks to certify a class of over 1,000,000 consumers and requests over $100,000,000 in punitive and compensatory damages.

“This case is about being open and honest with consumers,” said co-counsel Filippo Marchino of The X-Law Group, P.C. “If you advertise that you are not conducting animal testing, then you shouldn’t be conducting animal testing — it’s that simple.”

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