Home Health Law E.D. Louisiana Dismisses Antiperspirant/Benzene Claims—Once more

E.D. Louisiana Dismisses Antiperspirant/Benzene Claims—Once more

E.D. Louisiana Dismisses Antiperspirant/Benzene Claims—Once more


Photo of Steven Boranian

We’re in New Orleans for the yearly DRI Drug & Clinical Tool Seminar, so we’d be remiss if we handed up the chance to jot down on a Louisiana case.  The case will sound acquainted.  We reported six months in the past at the dismissal of a case introduced by means of the similar plaintiff alleging that benzene in antiperspirant led to most cancers.  That order was once noteworthy for no less than two causes.  First, the plaintiff based totally her allegations on checking out carried out by means of Valisure, a lab that holds itself out as “the drugstore that tests,” however has turn out to be higher recognized in recent years for generating take a look at effects that pressure litigation.  2nd, the Japanese District of Louisiana brushed aside the criticism principally since the plaintiff didn’t allege enough details appearing that the plaintiff had used antiperspirant that contained benzene or that the alleged contaminant led to the kind of most cancers at factor. 

Neatly, this plaintiff is at it once more—this time by means of submitting a 2d lawsuit, in the similar judicial district, alleging that she used a other antiperspirant that still allegedly contained benzene.  Rooney v. Unilever United States, Inc., No. 22-716, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74052 (E.D. Los angeles. Apr. 28, 2023).  Comically, the plaintiff alleged on this 2d lawsuit that she used the defendant’s antiperspirant solely for ten years.  Uh, what about that different federal lawsuit, the only the place you alleged, beneath risk of Rule 11 sanctions, that you simply used any other antiperspirant?  This plaintiff’s dueling court cases remind us of the scene from the film musical Singin’ within the Rain, the place the fictitious silent movie megastar Lina Lamont (performed superbly by means of actress Jean Hagen) boasts of giving an “unique interview to each and every paper on the town.” 

Ms. Lamont and the legal professionals representing our antiperspirant plaintiff have one thing in commonplace:  All of them dangle a in a similar way unfastened working out of the phrase “unique.”  (As an apart, many of us believe Singin’ within the Rain to be the best film musical of all time, and the movie is best possible recognized for the dancing trio of Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds.  Fewer other people know that Singin’ within the Rain was once just a modest business luck when it was once first launched in 1952, and that it earned handiest two Academy Award nominations:  Best possible Musical Rating and Best possible Supporting Actress—for Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont.  She didn’t win, however for the report, your bloggers would have voted for her.)

The plaintiff in Rooney wised up and amended her criticism to allege that she used the defendant’s antiperspirant “nearly solely,” so she fastened that self-contradiction.  However she didn’t and may now not repair the core downside together with her criticism—the shortcoming to plead causation.  Even Valisure purported to search out benzene in just a few antiperspirant samples, now not all.  This variability from one lot to the following left plaintiff not able to allege that she was once uncovered to an allegedly infected lot.  She attempted to fill that hole with the Common Product Code (or UPC) for the product she used.  UPC barcodes are ubiquitous and are on just about each and every retail product this is purchased and bought, however they don’t establish a product’s lot.  With out that hyperlink, the plaintiff may now not plausibly allege benzene publicity.  2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74052, *7-*8. 

The plaintiff’s causation allegation faltered for different causes as neatly.  Her naked allegations that she was once “uncovered to impermissibly prime ranges of benzene” have been too conclusory to warrant credit score.  And, extra considerably, whilst long-term publicity to benzene has been related to more than a few well being problems, none of the ones factual allegations urged any connection between benzene and the plaintiff’s alleged form of most cancers.  Identity. at *9-*10.  Additionally, this plaintiff knew that since the pass judgement on within the plaintiff’s different case informed her so:  “As Pass judgement on Vance seen in her order brushing aside plaintiff’s parallel claims towards [another company], the producer of [plaintiff’s other] antiperspirant, ‘[p]laintiffs’ failure to allege details appearing a causal connection between [Rooney’s] damage and defendant’s allegedly insufficient caution renders plaintiffs’ declare incredible.’”  Identity. at *9 (some inside quotations overlooked).  We additionally wrote it in our weblog, however we assume the plaintiff and her legal professionals aren’t common readers. 

The district courtroom brushed aside the plaintiff’s final claims for more than a few causes.  Claims comparable to negligence, strict legal responsibility, and misleading promoting have been outdoor the Louisiana Product Legal responsibility Act, which is the unique manner beneath Louisiana legislation to get well damages led to by means of a product.  Identity. at *10-*11.  There likewise isn’t any non-public proper of motion beneath the FDCA.  Identity. at *11. In spite of everything, the plaintiff sought injunctive aid, however since the defendant has discontinued the product, she had no status.  Identity. at *11-*12.  

The district courtroom denied go away to amend and brushed aside the motion with prejudice.  That is the proper outcome, given the incurable defects within the plaintiff’s allegations.  This courtroom, on the other hand, was once exceptionally affected person.  The plaintiff had already amended her criticism two times, and when it as a result of transparent that the plaintiff had now not addressed the adaptation between so much quantity (which identifies a selected product lot) and a UPC quantity (which doesn’t), the courtroom presented the plaintiff a chance to record a complement.  The plaintiff declined.  Identity. at *12-*13. 

We will be able to experience our final time in New Orleans.  We will be able to for sure have some chicory espresso, and we may also stand in line (once more) to consume a scrumptious bowl of gumbo.  We extremely suggest that you simply all do the similar. 



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