Kiss of Death for Lawsuit Against $24 Lip Balm

California woman loses case alleging cosmetics maker cheated consumers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2016 10:41 AM CDT
Kiss of Death for Lawsuit Against $24 Lip Balm
Fresh Inc. is off the hook.   (

Can't get that last bit of lip balm out of the tube? Scrape it out with your finger. That's basically what a federal appeals court told a California woman Thursday when it dismissed her class-action lawsuit alleging Fresh Inc. conned consumers into thinking there was more of its Sugar Lip Treatment in the tube than they could actually access, Courthouse News Service reports. The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rejected Angela Ebner's claim that the company tried to mislead consumers about the quantity of its pricey lip balm, which sells for roughly $24 a tube, per the AP. Ebner had insisted that the way the company packaged and dispensed the lip treatment was in violation of her state's consumer protection laws, Reuters notes.

To be more specific, Ebner said that the lip balm tube employs a twist-up mechanism that allows only 75% of the product to dispense beyond the tube opening. But the court noted that no state or federal laws were breached because the package labels accurately indicate just how much balm is in each tube. The court opinion stated, probably not to Ebner's liking, that "the reasonable consumer understands the general mechanics of these dispenser tubes" and that "it is up to the consumer to decide whether it is worth the effort to extract any remaining product with a finger or a small tool." (Why a "lip balm to the stars" was hit with a suit.)

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