COPPERTONE agreed to pay between $3 million and $10 million
Merck MRK -0.07% & Co. agreed to pay between $3 million and $10 million to settle a long-standing class-action suit involving Coppertone sunscreen, which the drug maker inherited when it acquired rival Schering-Plough in 2009.
As part of the settlement, which was filed Friday in a New Jersey district court, Merck also agreed to stop using the terms "sunblock," "waterproof," "sweat-proof," "all day" or "all day protection" in its labeling or advertising of Coppertone sunscreen products manufactured after June for sale in the U.S.
On its website, Coppertone currently uses terms such as "water resistant" and "stays on strong when you sweat."
Starting in late 2003, several lawsuits were filed against Schering-Plough, alleging the company may have exaggerated the effectiveness of its sunscreens in its advertising and labeling. Merck later bought Schering-Plough for about $41 billion.
Merck will also pay as much as $1.50 for each eligible Coppertone sunscreen product bought from July 2006 that is submitted to the settlement.