Dial Complete False Advertising Lawsuits Consolidated, Transferred to U.S. District of New Hampshire

Consumer lawsuits over the advertising and promotion of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Dial-Complete-Antibacterial-Hand-Wash-Soap-Class-Action-Lawsuit">Dial Complete Antibacterial Foaming Antibacterial Handwash have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation and transferred to U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire. The consolidated Dial Complete lawsuits will be presided over by Judge Steven J. McAuliffe.

Marketing materials for Dial Complete make claims that the product “kills 99.99% of germs” and “kills more germs than any other liquid hand soap” There are currently 10 lawsuits pending in seven federal districts which allege that these claims are false and misleading.

According to a Transfer Order issued by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on August 18, these lawsuits involve common factual questions arising from the marketing and sale of Dial Complete Foaming Antibacterial Handwash. Plaintiffs in the actions allege that Dial made unsubstantiated health claims in its promotion of Dial Complete to consumers and further allege that Triclosan, the active antibacterial ingredient in Dial Complete, may lead to bacterial resistance. All of the lawsuits also purport to represent putative statewide classes of purchasers of Dial Complete, and plaintiffs in two of the actions also seek to represent putative nationwide classes of purchasers, according to the order.

The JPML found that the District of New Hampshire is “an appropriate transferee forum for this litigation. The allegations in this nationwide litigation do not have a strong connection to any particular district, and related actions are pending in many districts.” Judge Steven J. McAuliffe is an experienced transferee judge who is presiding over one of the related actions and is not currently presiding over other multidistrict litigation, the order states.

Dial Corporation received patents to market antibacterial Triclosan products in August 2000 and March 2001. From the start, marketing materials claimed that Triclosan enabled Dial Complete to outperform other soap products. For example, one promotional video for Dial Complete that targets janitorial product suppliers claims the product has the “highest level of germ killing action,” “is the “#1 antibacterial foaming hand soap”, and its “patented activated Triclosan formula” allows it to be “25x more effective than other antibacterial soaps.”

In 2005, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that antimicrobial soaps and sanitizers do not reduce the risk of illness and infection in the home. The Canadian Pediatric Society and the American Medical Association have concluded similarly. Then, in an April 8, 2010 “Consumer Update”, the FDA stated that it does not have evidence that Triclosan-containing antibacterial soaps and body washes provide any extra health benefit over soap and water alone. According to Dial Complete lawsuits, Dial has continued to aggressively advertise Dial Complete as having substantial health benefits and being more effective in its use than ordinary soap and water, despite these facts.

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