CINCINNATI - A Virginia man has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Procter & Gamble Co., claiming its Old Spice deodorant burned his skin.
P&G said the product is safe, but declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Rodney Colley of Alexandria claimed he “suffered severe rashes, burning and discomfort” after “only a few uses of the Old Spice product,” in a lawsuit filed March 11 in U.S. District Court in Southern Ohio. The lawsuit describes additional complaints from more than 100 consumers who posted their stories on a Consumer Affairs website.
More than 100 Old Spice users posted photos and descriptions of skin irritation on the site in the last 18 months. The online complaints averaged more than six per month in the last year and 12 so far this month.
“The safety of the men who use Old Spice is the foundation of everything we do,” said P&G spokesman Damon Jones. “We go to great lengths to ensure our products are safe to use, and tens of millions of men use this product with confidence and without incident every year.”
P&G publishes a Material Safety Data Sheet on its all of its products, listing ingredients and potential health effects. For Old Spice, the document lists ethanol as its only hazardous ingredient as defined by federal standards. It says the deodorant is not expected to cause skin irritation when used as intended.
“If irritation occurs following intended use or prolonged contact it is expected to be mild and transient,” the P&G document states.
“A small number of men may experience irritation due to alcohol sensitivity, a common ingredient across virtually all deodorant products,” Jones said. “For men who have experienced a reaction to a deodorant, an antiperspirant may be a better option because they have a different formulation.”
The lawsuit seeks a finding that Old Spice is defective and violates the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. It also seeks a court order forcing P&G to disgorge all profits from the sale of Old Spice. It doesn’t seek a specific damage amount, but claims the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million.