Procter & Gamble is being sued by parents claiming new Pampers Dry Max diapers have caused severe rashes, oozing blisters and other skin problems for children, assertions the company called “completely false.” The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on May 11. A small group of parents who believe the diapers led to their children's skin ailments asked the court to grant class action status in their case.
The lawsuit is the latest blow to the image of Pampers, P&G's biggest brand with $8 billion in annual sales. The company has been heavily promoting its new Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers with Dry Max technology as thinner, more absorbent and more environmentally friendly. For months, it has touted the diapers as the brand's biggest innovation in 25 years.
But since their quiet roll-out in 2009 and a bigger launch in March, parents have complained the updated Pampers appear to have caused rashes and burns on their children. A number of parents have voiced concern in Internet forums such as Facebook where one vocal group that wants the company to bring back the old Swaddlers and Cruisers has seen its number of members grow nearly seven-fold to 7150 in less than a month.
Last week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada said they were investigating the products.
Pampers has repeatedly dismissed the idea the diapers cause skin irritations and maintains the number of complaints it has received for Dry Max is in line with its other new product launches.
According to documents, the parents named in the lawsuit want the court to require P&G to ensure Pampers will not cause severe rashes, blisters, welts, chemical burns and other skin ailments and to regularly test the product.They also want parents to be reimbursed for the diapers and compensated for treatment of skin ailments they say were caused by the diapers.