With its bright packaging and adorable round shape, EOS lip balms have become a staple for pretty much anyone with a pulse and feelings about dry, chapped lips. But the beloved brand experienced a shakeup early this year when it was hit with a class-action lawsuit alleging that customers experienced rashes, blisters, and other negative side effects as a result of using the product.
The news first broke in early January when plaintiff Rachael Cronin filed a lawsuit against EOS because of the “flaking and bleeding” she experienced after applying her balm. “Within hours, her lips became substantially dry and coarse, what Ms. Cronin describes as feeling like ‘sandpaper,’” the lawsuit stated. “Ms. Cronin’s lips and surrounding skin area had severe blistering and rashes causing her to seek medical care.” It also said the packaging contained no warnings about potential adverse side effects.
Naturally, as these things tend to do, the photos she posted online went viral.
EOS essentially responded with a nothing to see here, affirming that its “products are made with the highest quality ingredients” and “meet or exceed all safety and quality standards set out by our industry,” also adding that customer safety was a top priority. But instead of a nasty court entanglement, the two announced a settlement only 15 days later. The plaintiff’s lawyer commended EOS for being “responsive to concerns” and for “doing the right thing” by adding more information on product packaging so buyers could make more informed purchasing decisions. EOS also asserted that quality is of its utmost importance and that its products are hypoallergenic.
Now, the case is back in the spotlight thanks to some digging by Buzzfeed News, which obtained settlement agreement documents stating that EOS will be settling at least 10 related class-action lawsuits and offering compensation. Though the preliminary agreement still requires a signature from a judge, those affected could get reimbursed with products, cash, or more depending on their reactions to the product. “Affected consumers are eligible to receive either $75 for verified medical expenses, a $15 cash award, $20 worth of EOS products, or up to $4,000 depending on their injuries,” Buzzfeed News reports.
We reached out to EOS for comment, who provided the following statement:
At this time, it’s still unclear who exactly is eligible to receive compensation (i.e. whether recipients had to be a part of the lawsuits or not), but we’ll be sure to report back as more information becomes available.