Claire’s Stores, Inc. has been hit with a proposed class action lawsuit after some of the retailer’s cosmetic products were suspected of containing asbestos.
On March 11, 2019, the company issued a voluntary recall of three products – specifically, a contour palette, a compact powder, and an eyeshadow kit – in response to FDA testing that reportedly indicated the possible presence of asbestos in the makeup.
The lawsuit argues, however, that the recall is inadequate and doesn’t fully compensate Claire’s customers for the damages they’ve suffered, including the cost of expensive diagnostic testing that the suit says many will need to undergo following exposure to the “extremely dangerous and potentially lethal” substance.
Presence of Asbestos in Claire’s Products Is “Especially Dangerous and Harmful,” Suit Says
Asbestos, according to the complaint, is a known carcinogen and presents serious health risks, including the risk of developing “fatal and debilitating illnesses and diseases” such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.
The potential presence of asbestos in the defendant’s products, the case says, is especially dangerous given that the products are applied to the skin and may be easily “inhaled, absorbed, or ingested” during normal use.
What’s worse, the lawsuit points out, is that a significant number of Claire’s customers are “young women, teens, tweens and kids” who may have been exposed to the hazardous substance.
Which Claire’s Products Allegedly Contain Asbestos?
Claire’s insists that only the three following products are suspected of containing asbestos, according to testing performed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
Claire's Eyeshadows, UPC #888711847165, SKU #84716, Lot No. 08/17
Claire's Compact Powder, UPC #888711839153, SKU #83915, Lot No. 07/15
Claire's Contour Palette, UPC #888711401947, SKU #40194, Lot No. 04/17
The products were allegedly sold between at least 2016 and March 2019 and are no longer in Claire’s stores. The lawsuit, however, seeks to require Claire’s to “implement a full recall” instead of limiting the action to one lot of each of the three products.
How Else Can the Lawsuit Help?
In addition to initiating a full recall, the lawsuit is seeking a court order requiring that Claire’s:
Correct its allegedly unlawful practices;
Implement safety and monitoring systems to test its products for “no fewer than two years”;
Inform anyone who purchased the products that diagnostic screening is available and issue them a full refund;
Disclose all of its suppliers or supply-chain participants; and
Award monetary damages and interest.
Though Claire’s apparently hasn’t received any reports of “adverse reactions, injuries or illnesses” potentially linked to asbestos as of the date of the recall, the lawsuit argues that anyone who purchased the items is now at an increased risk of harm and will have to undergo costly diagnostic screening.
Who Does the Lawsuit Hope to Cover?
The case looks to cover individuals in all 50 states who purchased Claire’s products “during the statutes of limitation,” and also proposes subclasses of New York and Florida residents.
How Do I Join the Lawsuit?
As of right now, there’s nothing you need to do to join. For almost all class actions, class members – people to whom the lawsuit applies – are automatically included.
For now, the best thing you can do is hold on to any products you purchased (and receipts if you have them) and wait, or contact an attorney in your area if you’re worried about any harm caused by the products.