A $7 million class action settlement has been announced, ending allegations that U by Kotex tampons could unravel or come apart when inserted into women’s bodies.
Those who can benefit from the settlement include consumers who purchased U by Kotex tampons between March 8, 2013 and Nov. 19, 2019. Products covered by the settlement include U by Kotex Sleek Tampons, U by Kotex Fitness Tampons, U by Kotex Click Tampons, and U by Kotex Security Tampons in Regular, Super, or Super-Plus Absorbency.
Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc. was hit with a class action lawsuit in late 2019 by a consumer who said that U by Kotex tampon products caused infections, irritation, injuries, and other problems. In some cases, alleged the complaint, women had to seek medical attention to have the pieces removed.
The plaintiff claimed to have purchased several products in the U by Kotex line. She said that had she known that the tampons were “unfit to perform their intended purpose and were dangerous” she would not have purchased them.
“The Defect renders the Products unsuitable for their principal and intended purpose, and thus the Products are worthless at the point of sale,” alleged the U by Kotex tampons class action lawsuit. “For all of the Products that Defendant sold, the Defect is substantially likely to materialize during the useful life of the product.”
Indeed, just months before the class action lawsuit, a U by Kotex recall was issued after consumers reported the same problems of the products unraveling or coming apart when used.
According to the complaints, the tampons that unraveled were nearly impossible to remove. Some women even reported that the products unraveled while still in the packaging, before use.
CNN reported on the U by Kotex tampons recall issue, noting that a small number of users who were allegedly affected by the defective tampons reported that they had developed infections, injury, or irritations after using the products. CNN advises that symptoms of an infection may include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, vaginal injury, urogenital infections, and others. Reportedly, these symptoms were concerning enough to merit medical attention.
Dr. Adeeti Gupta, MD and gynecologist and founder of Walk in GNY Care of New York spoke to Glamour about the U by Kotex recall and the possible risks that come with it. She noted that the alleged defect was dangerous because an infection can occur when a foreign object such as a tampon is retained in the body and a patient can develop toxic shock syndrome.
The U by Kotex tampons recall reportedly comes after the medical community and lawmakers have increasingly questioned the safety of tampons in general. A range of chemicals are reportedly present in tampons, including pesticides, bleach, and fragrances, and these may impact a user’s health. The worry of this possibility is reportedly increased if a defective tampon becomes trapped in a user’s body for longer then intended.
CNN Health reported that the U by Kotex recall affected certain products in the line produced between Oct. 7, 2016 and Oct. 16, 2018 that were distributed in the United States and Canada between Oct. 17, 2016 and Oct. 23, 2018. As a result of the recall, stores were advised to remove the product from the shelves.
The U by Kotex class action lawsuit alleged that the recall was insufficient, however. The complaint pointed out that Kimberly-Clark did not advertise a refund or return as a part of the U by Kotex recall effort. Instead, consumers were instructed to call the company’s customer service team and stop using the product, in addition to obtaining medical care for any symptoms.
“The recall was done so that Kimberly-Clark could claim it did the right thing in response to the Product Defect, when in fact the recall was calculated to protect Kimberly-Clark’s profits by ensuring as few returns as possible,” alleged the plaintiff.
Further, the company limited its recall to certain lot codes, noted the class action lawsuit; however, virtually the whole U by Kotex line was affected by the defect, contended the complaint. Indeed, the class action cited a number of complaints made online to the company that said that other U by Kotex products not included in the recall had fallen apart or unraveled upon use.
Kimberly-Clark has admitted no wrongdoing in the U by Kotex class action lawsuit, but has agreed to pay $7 million to end the allegations.
Under the terms of the settlement, Class Members are eligible to receive up to $30, as well as an additional cash benefit if they can provide proof of purchase. Class Members must submit a claim form online or by mail by Aug. 18, 2020 to be eligible.
Class Members who wish to opt out of or exclude themselves from the U by Kotex class action settlement must do so by July 6, 2020.
The final hearing is scheduled for July 20, 2020.
Class Members include consumers who purchased U by Kotex tampons between March 8, 2013 and Nov. 19, 2019. Products covered by the settlement include U by Kotex Sleek Tampons, U by Kotex Fitness Tampons, U by Kotex Click Tampons, and U by Kotex Security Tampons in Regular, Super, or Super-Plus Absorbency.
Up to $30 without proof of purchase. An additional cash benefit can be claimed by Class Members with proof of purchase.
Proof of Purchase
Not required, but those who can provide receipts and/or product packaging that can identify the product covered by the class action settlement will receive a higher payout.
NOTE: If you do not qualify for this settlement do NOT file a claim.
Remember: you are submitting your claim under penalty of perjury. You are also harming other eligible Class Members by submitting a fraudulent claim. If you’re unsure if you qualify, please read the FAQ section of the Settlement Administrator’s website to ensure you meet all standards (Top Class Actions is not a Settlement Administrator). If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other open class action settlements you may be eligible for.
Claim Form Deadline
Moore v. Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc., Case No. 19 L 0846, in the Circuit Court for the 20th Judicial Circuit, County of St. Clair, State of Illinois
Moore v. Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc.
c/o Heffler Claims Group
P.O. Box 8612
Philadelphia, PA 19101-8612
L. Timothy Fisher
Blair E. Reed
BURSOR & FISHER PA
Christopher D. Dusseault
Heather L. Richardson
GIBSON DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP
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