The class action lawsuit claimed that the company misled consumers with claims that its products such as its laundry and dish soaps as well as its surface cleaner were free of harsh chemicals, when in fact they contained the chemical sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, a known skin irritant. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Honest will change its product formula in addition to the financial compensation to consumers.
“This non-monetary relief is significant because it directly addresses and remedies the central allegation in plaintiffs’ action for future purchasers, that Honest made misleading representations in connection with sale of the SCS-containing products based on its promise that they were SLS-free,” the settlement motion states.
According to independent lab tests conducted by lawyers representing Lead Plaintiff Staci Seed, Honest Laundry Detergent, Honest Dish Soap and Honest Multi-Surface Cleaner products contain significant percentages of SLS. In her complaint, Seed contended SLS can cause scalp, gum and skin irritation at concentrations of just 1 percent, while testing on the Honest products showed concentrations of as much as 14 percent.
Under the terms of the proposed deal, the settlement class would include all persons who purchased Honest laundry detergent, dish soap and multi-surface cleaner from January 17, 2012, through to and including the date of preliminary approval.
Class members without a proof of purchase could claims up to $50. Class members with proof of purchase can request more per claim. Claims will be paid in cash or as a credit for products at Honest.com worth 1.5 times the cash payout.
The 10 named plaintiffs may receive settlement awards of up to $1,000 per plaintiff. The settlement requires court approval.
The case is In Re: The Honest Company Inc. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate SLS Marketing and Sales Practice Litigation, case number 2:16-ml-027919-AB-RAO in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
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