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Dial Complete Class Action Lawsuit Seeks Refunds for Hand Wash Purchasers

May 4, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP

A new lawsuit is taking on claims made by the Dial Corporation that its Dial Complete Antibacterial Hand Wash kills most bacteria.  The class action lawsuit, which was filed in Ohio Federal Court, seeks, among other things, compensatory and punative damages on behalf of all Ohio residents who purchased Dial Complete Antibacterial Hand Wash.

In addition to claiming that Dial Complete Antibacterial Hand Wash "kills 99.9% of bacteria," advertising for the hand wash implies it is effective against infectious diseases including streptococcal infections, Salmonella, E. coli, and Staphylococcus aureus, the lawsuit claims.

Dial also claims that Dial Complete’s active ingredient, Triclosan (first developed as a surgical scrub for doctors) enables Dial Complete to outperform other soap products.  But the complaint points out that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration stated in 2010 that it does not have evidence that Triclosan-containing antibacterial soaps and body washes provide any extra health benefit over soap and water alone.  The lawsuit also says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  considers Triclosan a pesticide, which posses both human and environmental risk.  Finally, various studies have shown that repeated use of products containing Triclosan result in bacterial resistance, a fact which has prompted the American Medical Association to call for an end to its use, according to the lawsuit.

The Dial Complete class action lawsuit also disputes Dial's assertion that its claims are based on a competent, credible, and reliable study, pointing out that in that study, only two strains of bacteria were actually tested.

The Dial Complete Antibacterial Hand Wash lawsuit alleges that in making these claims, Dial violated Ohio's Consumer Sales Practice Act.    In addition to refunds for Ohio purchasers of this product, the lawsuit seeks injunctive relief enjoining Dial Corporation from continuing the alleged unlawful practices, and a court order compelling the company to undertake a corrective advertising campaign.

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