Greenberg v. Procter & Gamble Co., No. 11-4156 (6th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
In 2010, P&G began marketing Pampers disposable diapers with “Dry Max technology.” Two months later, the Consumer Product Safety Commission began investigating whether the diapers caused severe diaper rash. The district court consolidated several law suits. In August 2010, the CPSC and Health Canada released reports, finding no connection between the diapers and diaper rash. Despite a pending motion to dismiss and before any formal discovery, the parties reached a settlement agreement, under which they agreed to seek class certification under Rule 23(b)(2), so that absent class members could not opt out. P&G agreed: to reinstate a refund program; to add to its label a sentence suggesting that consumers consult Pampers.com or call; to add basic diaper rash information to its website; and to contribute $300,000 to a pediatric resident training program and $100,000 to fund a program “in the area of skin health.” Named plaintiffs would release all of their Pampers-related claims and receive $1000 “per affected child.” Unnamed class members would not receive any award, would benefit only from the one-box refund, but would release “equitable” claims against P&G, and be permanently barred from future class actions against P&G. Class counsel would receive $2.73 million. The district court certified the class. The Sixth Circuit reversed, noting that the per-child payments provided a disincentive for named plaintiffs to care about the adequacy of relief afforded unnamed class members.