Rodan + Fields has reached a settlement in a class-action lawsuit over an unreported component in their Lash Boost product. Isopropyl cloprostenate, a glaucoma drug with potentially serious side effects, is at issue.

Barbara Lewis, Akemi Buckingham, Elaina Hufnagel, and Tereas Gattuso filed a class action lawsuit against Rodan + Fields in 2018. The four plaintiffs claimed in their complaint that since the product’s launch in 2016, Rodan + Fields has failed to disclose material facts to customers concerning the occurrence, severity, and duration of symptoms and adverse effects related to isopropyl cloprostenate, a component in Lash Boost.   

The synthetic prostaglandin analog is isopropyl cloprostenate. Prostaglandin analogs are commonly utilized in the medical treatment of glaucoma to lower ocular hypertension in individuals. 

Prostaglandin analogs have “potentially sight-threatening side effects,” including:

a. iris cysts and cystoid macular edema (which can cause vision loss and distortion);

b. anterior uveitis (inflammation of the iris or ciliary body); and

c. reactivation of herpes simplex keratitis (inflammation and possible scarring of the cornea).   

Increased prominence of lid vessels;

c. darkening of the eyelid skin and undereye skin;

d. increased pigmentation of the iris (meaning it can change the color of the eyes);

e. excessive tearing, eye pain, or lid crusting; and

f. lengthening of eyelashes are some of the known side effects.   

Given that Lash Boost is an “eyelash booster,” it’s likely that isopropyl cloprostenate is used to “lengthen eyelashes.”   

The plaintiffs claim that the FDA issued a warning in 2011 to another cosmetic producer about the use of isopropyl cloprostenate and that another manufacturer did not notify consumers about potential negative effects.   

Rodan + Fields promotes Lash Boost as a cosmetic rather than going through the FDA approval procedure and having to disclose all of the negative effects associated with prostaglandin analogs.   

Consumers have experienced serious side effects as a result of using Lash Boost, according to the plaintiffs, including iris color changes, eyelid drooping, itchy eyes, eye/lid discoloration, thinning and loss of eyelashes, loss of eyelash hair, eye sensitivity, eye infections, and vision impairment.   

Rodan + Fields engaged in fraudulent, unfair, and unlawful marketing tactics by omitting the detrimental side effects and hazards involved with the use of Lash Boost, rather than allowing consumers to decide if Lash Boost is worth the risk.   

The plaintiffs claim that their class-action lawsuit seeks to reimburse consumers who purchased Lash Boost for $150 per tube, citing Rodan + Field’s status as “the top selling skincare brand in 2016” with over $1 billion in sales.  

Surprisingly, the plaintiffs also argue that their class action does not allege that Lash Boost is or should have been regulated by the FDA. Rodan & Fields’ reluctance to disclose potentially hazardous side effects of their products would seem to fall under the FDA’s purview. It could also be a case for the Federal Trade Commission.

In any case, considering the allegations, it’s an unusual comment to make. Despite the fact that a class-action lawsuit was launched against Rodan + Fields in April 2018, I was only recently made aware of it. The case took place over the next four years, according to the docket.

Early on, it was merged with two other related class actions. Some litigants were discharged along the line, probably after settling with Rodan + Fields on an individual basis.

A “Proposed Order Regarding Settlement” was submitted in June 2021. On September 28th, 2021, the parties formally struck a settlement agreement. Plaintiffs in a class action submitted a request to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit on April 7, 2022, completing the settlement.

Rodan + Fields decided to update the [Lash Boost] label and directions for use, (and) to identify certain purported negative effects that have been reported by some product users, despite maintaining that they had done nothing wrong.   

R+F has agreed to amend how it markets the product on its website, as well as the resource materials it gives when training R+F Independent Consultants, and has agreed to provide extended warning instructions for usage.   

The agreement’s monetary component might be worth up to $38 million.   

The cash settlements account for $30 million of that total. The remaining $8 million is a product credit from Rodan + Fields.

Rodan + Fields affiliates and/or consumers who purchased Lash Boost between October 1, 2016 and March 11, 2022 will be certified as Rodan + Fields affiliates.

Class members can select between a Rodan + Fields product credit voucher or a cash reward by filling out a claim form.

According to a court-ordered settlement letter, the maximum credit benefit is $250 and the maximum cash reward is $175.   

Members who submit valid proof(s) of purchase demonstrating that they purchased Lash Boost more than once may be eligible for up to $250 in credit (a “Credit Repeat Purchaser Benefit”) or $175 in cash (a “Cash Repeat Purchaser Benefit”), for a total benefit of $500 in credit or $350 in cash.

You could get up to $500 in credit or $350 in cash if you bought more than one bottle of Lash Boostup.  It’s worth noting that the $38 million settlement fund isn’t all going to class members.

The $30 million component is subtracted after administrative charges ($425,608 estimate).    Fees for attorneys (limited at $15.4 million):   

Service Awards for Class Representatives ($15,000 apiece, for a total of $165,000 for 11 class representatives). 

If the remaining funds are insufficient to cover monetary claims, they will be reduced proportionally. 

It is possible to opt out of a class. Members of the class have until July 14th to opt out. Claim forms for class members must be submitted by September 7th, 2022.

Class members can file claims on a special website set up for them (blue “start your claim” button on the right of the page).

Any questions that impacted class members may have should be addressed in the given Settlement Notice. In the event that this is not possible, contact information for the Settlement Administrator and/or Class Counsel is provided.

Please be aware that we are unable to provide individualized legal advice.

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