In a significant win for fair advertising, a California judge has certified a class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson (J&J), alleging that the company’s claims that one of its moisturizer lines is “oil free” is misleading. The plaintiff Narguess Noohi is acting as class representative for all consumers who purchased products from J&J’s Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture Sensitive Skin line. Representing Noohi and the rest of the class are Todd M. Friedman, Adrian R. Bacon, and Meghan E George from the Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman PC.
Class actions like this are an invaluable tool for consumers to hold companies accountable if they advertise products dishonestly. By certifying the lawsuit, U.S. District Senior Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. confirms that Noohi, as lead plaintiff, has shown that many consumers may have been similarly misled by J&J’s advertising. Furthermore, the certification demonstrates that the court believes that this deception could reasonably have harmed consumers and justify answering their complaints on a class-wide basis.
If you have purchased Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture Sensitive Skin moisturizer products, you may be eligible for compensation through this class action. Keep reading to understand the false advertising claims against Johnson & Johnson, why the Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman are helping consumers take a stand, and how you may have been harmed by the misleading claims.
Purpose of the Lawsuit
Most people who purchase skincare products do so to solve problems with their skin’s health or appearance. This is particularly true of specialty products such as “sensitive skin” lines. People with sensitive skin are more prone to painful breakouts if they use products containing certain irritating substances. These breakouts can potentially leave permanent, disfiguring scars.
One of the most common sources of breakout-causing irritation is oil. Unfortunately, different oils are used in the majority of moisturizers to ensure water remains on and in the surface of the skin. This can make it difficult for people with sensitive skin to find moisturizing products that do not harm them. As such, many consumers are particularly drawn to product lines that make claims that they are “oil-free.”
This was true for Noohi, who purchased J&J’s Oil Free moisturizer in March of 2020 specifically due to its claims that it contained no oils. However, upon researching its ingredients, she determined that it actually contained several oil-based products. This led her to consult with the attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman and ultimately file a false advertising class action lawsuit against J&J on behalf of all customers who may have been similarly misled by the product’s very name.
Understanding Noohi v. Johnson & Johnson
Noohi’s claim revolves around three California laws:
- False Advertising Law (Business and Professions Code (BPC) 17500): Organizations cannot misrepresent the nature of their services or products through misleading statements in print, online, or any other form of advertising, including product packaging.
- Unfair Competition Law (BPC 17200): Businesses cannot perform unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practices or any false, deceptive, or misleading advertising to harm competitors or mislead customers into making a purchase they would not have otherwise made.
- Consumer Legal Remedies Act (California Civil Code 1750): Consumers have the right to bring individual or class action lawsuits against organizations that have harmed them through deceptive or unfair business practices.
Under these laws, advertisers must be truthful about their products and cannot mislead consumers about their ingredients or effects. For a class action claim under these laws to be certified, it must be shown that the advertising was deceptive or misleading, that the consumers were exposed to the misleading content, and that it was material to their decision to purchase the product.
As the product’s name and packaging prominently feature the words “Oil Free,” the primary concerns are whether this is deceptive and factors into consumers’ decisions. When Johnson & Johnson attempted to dismiss Noohi’s claims, her attorneys argued that a reasonable customer may not realize ingredients listed on the packaging were derived from oils and would instead believe the name meant the product was oil-free. This matter will continue to be litigated as the case proceeds to trial.
What to Do If You’ve Been Affected by J&J’s Misleading Advertising
The purpose of a class action lawsuit is to resolve many potential legal claims at once. Suppose you live in the state of California and you have purchased Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture Sensitive Skin moisturizer products between April 17, 2016, and the present day. In that case, you may be considered part of the class represented by the lawsuit. If so, you could be eligible to receive compensation if Johnson & Johnson’s claims are found to be misleading, and those claims are why you purchased the product. You will be able to request compensation should the case be ruled in favor of Noohi.
The case still has a long way to go, but it is an important step forward for anyone harmed by J&J’s false advertising. If you have been misled by Johnson & Johnson’s oil-free claims but do not live in California, you have other options.
Reach out to the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, PC. We will discuss your case and determine if you have a claim or are already covered by an ongoing class action. If you have a claim that is not yet addressed by a class action, we can assist you in filing a new Johnson & Johnson class action lawsuit to address your complaint. Schedule your consultation to learn how we can represent you and everyone else harmed similarly by Johnson & Johnson’s false advertising claims.