Johnson & Johnson and Costco Wholesale Corp. have reached a tentative agreement over lawsuits in connection with recalled Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreens after a cancer-causing chemical was detected in the products.
"This agreement, which is subject to court approval, is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing. ... We strongly dispute the merits of these lawsuits and stand behind our position that we marketed our sunscreen products appropriately and responsibly," a J&J statement to Reuters said.
FOX Business has reached out to both companies.
J&J voluntarily recalled Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen products last summer after discovering low levels of benzene. The chemical, a carcinogen, is not an ingredient in any J&J sunscreen products, the company said at the time of the July 14 recall announcement.
Benzene was found in four Neutrogena product lines and one Aveeno line. The affected products include the Neutrogena products: Beach Defense, Cool Dry Sport, Invisible Daily Defense and Ultra Sheer products and Aveeno Protect + Refresh sunscreen.
Out of an abundance of caution, several retailers – including CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens – halted the sale of the sunscreen products.
The Food and Drug Administration said following the recall it was investigating how benzene had ended up in the sunscreens.
A federal court consolidated lawsuits filed against J&J and Costco, which sold the products. The settlement would resolve the claims in consolidated litigation, according to the filing, Reuters reported.