Class Action Lawsuit Accuses Estee Lauder of Consumer Fraud for its Clinique Anti-aging Product Claims

By on January 18, 2013

A class action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey alleges that Estee Lauder used false advertising to promote the benefits of its Clinique anti-aging products

According to the complaint, plaintiff alleges that she and thousands of other consumers were led to believe by Estee Lauder that using certain Clinique beauty products would result in anti-aging benefits.  Indeed, Estee Lauder claims on the packaging of its Clinique Youth Surge Night Age Decelerating Moisturizer that the product’s “youth conserving agents” are “quite like a fountain of youth.” 

The complaint also points out that Estee Lauder’s allegedly deceptive marketing campaigns are devastating to consumers because Clinique products are sold over the counter at department stores, instead of on drugstore and supermarket shelves, and consequently, consumers are not afforded the opportunity to compare packaging side-by-side with other products.  Instead, consumers are left with relying on the company’s advertisements. 

The advertisement for Clinique’s Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Wrinkle Damage Corrector promises the product is “proven to deliver 63 percent of the visible wrinkle-reducing power of a laser procedure at 12 weeks”, but these claims, if true, would trigger FDA regulation as a drug, yet the product is not FDA regulated, according to the complaint. 

Plaintiff seeks to represent a nationwide class of consumers who purchased as least one Clinique product mentioned in the suit from the date of the product’s launch to the present, as well as a New Jersey subclass, according to the complaint.  The suit accuses Estee Lauder of breach of express warranty, unjust enrichment, and violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and consumer fraud laws of various states. 

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