Avon, Mary Kay, Estee Lauder Facing $100 Million Fraud Lawsuit

Eagan Avenatti, LLP announced today the filing of a class action lawsuit against cosmetic companies Estee Lauder, Avon Products, and Mary Kay on behalf of American consumers deceived by the companies’ false and misleading representations relating to animal testing of their products.

Beltran et al. v. Estee Lauder, et al., United States District Court – Central District of California, Case No. SA12-CV312 CJC (ANX): The Class Action complaint alleges that Estee Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay purposely defrauded consumers by falsely claiming that their products were not tested on animals when, in reality, the companies knew full well that they had begun testing various cosmetic products on animals. The complaint further alleges that the companies deliberately misled the American public by claiming their products were “cruelty free” at the same time the companies undertook animal testing in order to sell their products in China and reap hundreds of millions of dollars in Chinese sales.

The complaint seeks to certify a class of over 1,000,000 consumers and requests over $100,000,000 in punitive and compensatory damages. On February 16, 2012, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced that Estee Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay had been removed from the organization’s “cruelty free” list of companies that do not test on animals after it was discovered that the companies were performing animal testing. PETA subsequently downgraded the companies and listed them on PETA’s list of companies that do conduct animal testing.

“While it may make economic sense for a company to pursue sales in China, those sales should not occur at the expense of fundamental principles,” stated co-counsel for the Plaintiffs Michael Avenatti of Eagan Avenatti, LLP. “Estee Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay should have been open and honest with the American public and told the truth – that sales and profits were more important to them than refusing to conduct animal testing.”

“This case is about being open and honest with consumers,” added co-counsel Filippo Marchino of The X-Law Group, P.C. “If you advertise that you are not conducting animal testing, then you shouldn’t be conducting animal testing – it’s that simple.”



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43 comments

  • February 29, 2012 8:12 pmPosted 2 years ago
    MaryLynn

    Is that money going to the animals?

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  • February 29, 2012 8:15 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Jenny

    Wow, a lawsuit, huh? That’s a good question, MaryLynn!

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    February 29, 2012 8:16 pmPosted 2 years ago
    m4g

    While I think this is great, why is PETA involved at all? They kill more animals than they help. So they shouldn’t have anything to do with animals, period.

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      March 1, 2012 1:42 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Monica

      AGREE!

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    February 29, 2012 8:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Denise

    when will companies stop torturing poor animals, this is horrible and barbaric!! there are other means of testing products, not on poor helpless souls!! stop this already!!!! i will noy buy any products that support this!!! this is so wrong of them:(((((

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    February 29, 2012 8:19 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Vivian

    WOW ….

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  • February 29, 2012 8:21 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Mary Krites

    NOW i USE lANCOM SO FAR NO PROBLEMS THAT I M AWARE OF

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    February 29, 2012 8:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Rose

    name and shame and share. I’ve told many people to stop buying their products. NAME AND SHAME

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    February 29, 2012 8:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
    John

    I think they could be sued for the foul smelling perfumes that they make

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    February 29, 2012 8:28 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Lorinda

    I pay a premium for products bc they dont test on animals, and it turns out that they do? For shame!

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    February 29, 2012 8:30 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Rhoda

    Walked by the Estée Lauder counter today and refused to consider a purchase because of this

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    February 29, 2012 8:33 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Deb

    I shot off an email to Avon Canada yesterday and received a long involved reply. Hidden in this reply was a huge contradiction. Here is part of that email………….”Although Avon does not conduct animal testing to substantiate the safety of any of its products, some products may be required by law to undergo additional safety assessment in a few countries at the direction of a government or health agency and this may include animal testing. In these instances Avon always attempts to persuade the requesting authority to accept non-animal test data. If no compromise can be reached, we must comply with the requirement for additional testing.”………..So in one breath they say they do not test on animals, but wait….yes they do, but only when their arm is twisted behind their back by a ‘few countries’. They have lost my business, and I was a very big Avon supporter and customer.

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    February 29, 2012 8:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Cat

    I haves used Clinique(owned by Estee Lauder) for years. I used the products becuase the company did not believe in animal testing….I am done with them…..

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  • February 29, 2012 8:45 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Judith

    @Deb: What a load of you know what! Thanks for sharing.

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  • February 29, 2012 8:46 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Summer

    I’ve seen that Avon email as well. Glad to know the products that I use and market are certified vegan. In my opinion, you should always look for the vegan certification for all personal use products. That will guarantee no animal products or by-products as well as no animal testing.

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    February 29, 2012 8:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Melinda

    I don’t condone animal testing at all, but I have ZERO trust in ANYTHING that PETA says!!! One of these days, PETA & HSUS will be exposed as the greed-driven corporations they REALLY are!!

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      March 31, 2012 9:22 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      I agree with Melinda, PETA just got caught standing over a river with dog in one hand dropping it in….Shame on them~ just like aspca…save & rescue just to kill…..all money hungry scumbags……leave our animals alone~

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  • February 29, 2012 8:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Summer

    Aside from animal testing, you really don’t need animal product or by-product in your cosmetics or skincare. If something has an added chemical fragrance, that is usually a clear indication of animal by-product. If you see tallow or sodium tallowate in the ingredients, that is animal product/by-product.

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    February 29, 2012 9:00 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Lorraine

    What’s the deal with PETA- I’ve heard a few neg comments but no specific reason? Certainly didn’t like their pornography campaign.

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    February 29, 2012 9:02 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Kathy

    If I’m not mistaken, it was China that wanted this extra testing…well how hipocritcal on them…they send tainted products to the USA all the time! Many dog food recalls, baby formula recalls…I’m pretty darn sure there are many more…maybe it’s not worth trading or doing business with China any longer!

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      March 31, 2012 9:25 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      lets send that to our so called leaders: stop import~export with China

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    February 29, 2012 9:02 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Cindi

    Yes! I used avon because they claimed no animal testing. I feel duped and defrauded. I don’t know why they still feel the need to do, but to blatantly lie and defraud. I hope they get nailed ….wish I could get my money back!

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    February 29, 2012 9:05 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Amy

    Lancome owners L’oreal.

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  • February 29, 2012 9:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Danielle

    Alot of companies like this claim their ‘products’ are not tested on animals but use overseas companies to test the ingredients on animals. Apparently this is the trick which L’oreal have used to claim they don’t test on animals

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  • February 29, 2012 9:10 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Danielle

    Also one of the problems people have with PETA is that they actually kill alot of animals as they believe people shouldn’t keep them as pets

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  • February 29, 2012 9:14 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Tina

    This is the reason I bought Estee Lauder for years, because they didn’t test on animals, but not anymore. Now that I found this out, they lost one customer!!

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  • February 29, 2012 9:32 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Filomena

    Thats great news hope they go bankrupt lying sobs.

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  • February 29, 2012 9:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Jane

    If they don’t believe people should keep them as pets, what do these people live in the stone age?

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    February 29, 2012 9:59 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Yeb

    there’s literally HUNDREDS if not thousands of cosmetic products (many sold online) that pride themselves on no animal testing. It’s gotten to the point that many mainstream cosmetic companies are very much so distancing themselves from animal testing. there’s amazing beauty products out there (far better than the generic stuff) with natural ingredients, that are not animal tested..and only a minute google search away.

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    February 29, 2012 10:00 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Deb

    Many people become outraged at these types of stories, and with good reason. The thing is though, many cosmetic companies are but one entity that is involved in animal testing, either directly or indirectly. Many may not test their products on animals, but their ingredient supplies do. One really has to dig to get at the truth. How many who are outraged by this news do their best to support ethical companies for all their household needs, and their pet food/needs? Toothpaste, hair/body products, floor cleaner, toilet bowl, kitchen, bathroom cleaners, window cleaner, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, etc. P&G and Lever are big in household products and are very involved in animal testing. How many people who are against animal testing and have babies use disposable diapers instead of cloth? Feeding your pets, do you buy only from an ethical company that is not involved in keeping animals in laboratories/kennels strictly for testing? Just putting all this out there for some food for thought. When you really start digging around, writing to companies, it makes your head spin at how much cruelty really is associated with the daily products all of us use.

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    February 29, 2012 10:07 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Lorraine

    Not sure how much use this would be in US but this organisation publishes a list of who does what (and more importantly, who doesn’t!): http://www.buav.org/

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    February 29, 2012 10:12 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Deb

    Excellent site with lots of info. You can even request a shopping guide to tuck into your wallet for reference. http://www.leapingbunny.org/indexcus.php

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  • March 1, 2012 1:21 amPosted 2 years ago
    Laura

    We cannot afford to take their word or feeble attempts at presenting themselves as cruelty free. Even leaping bunny does not always have the most current or completely verified information. We must out these corporations and refuse to support this horrendous injustice to all creatures. We must raise our voices and bear witness for the voiceless and choiceless!

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    March 1, 2012 4:57 amPosted 2 years ago
    Katrina

    Good, I’m glad. I bought products in good faith re animal testing from Avon and EL. I hope the money that these company’s have to pay out go’s in some way to animal charities. Although I doubt it.

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  • March 1, 2012 7:13 amPosted 2 years ago
    Maresa

    So happy I don’t ware make up. As far as Avons excuse that’s is total BS. No one is making them sell to China and what ever the other countries are that “require” testing on animals. It’s all about $$$$$$

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    March 1, 2012 7:17 amPosted 2 years ago
    Leslea

    I love my Estee Lauder products, find them to be great for my skin and have been a consumer since my teens but if they test on animals I will not buy another drop of their products. Period.

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    March 1, 2012 10:59 amPosted 2 years ago
    Marcia

    animal testing is bad science and morally wrong.

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  • March 1, 2012 11:53 amPosted 2 years ago
    Valerie

    They sure do have the right to know what they are buying. I found out that Almay doesn’t test on animals. If someone knows differently about this product, let me know. I just bought their product the other day because they didn’t test on animals. I checked them out on the internet.

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  • March 5, 2012 9:50 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Christa

    This is an outrage. This is yet another reason why we need to do our research on every product we use and ingest. It’s up to us to make an educated decision on what we use on a daily basis and how it affects not only ourselves but animals as well. If you ladies want a cruelty free/don’t test on animals cosmetic and skin care line this is what I’ve been using for years and it’s a high quality cosmeceuticals, infused antioxidants and all natural. It’s http://www.yourmotivesfixx.com you can email me if you have any questions [email protected].

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    March 18, 2012 8:13 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Edward Bunting

    AVON have mis sold their products on being the ‘first cosmetics company to BAN ALL animal testing’ lie for a good many years. Furthermore they have perpetuated that lie through their representatives. It’s a disgrace.

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    May 16, 2012 2:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Marietta

    I was approached by a MK consultant to do a party and to sell their products. I chose not to for these reasons. I am now an Arbonne consultant Arbonne does not test on animals nor do we use animal bi- products. Our Moto is pure safe and beneficial. I can say my skin is amazing and I feel less tired every day. Don’t know if it is the lack of animal fats I consume now by my skin or what. But it is amazing. I love my Arbonne!

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    May 16, 2012 2:30 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Marietta

    I was approached by a MK consultant to not only host a party but to sell their products. I refused either because of this and decided to Join Arbonne. Arbonne is a company which not only does not animal test but there are no animal bi-products in anything we market. My skin is amazing now and I feel less tired every day which maybe because of the lack of animal bi-products being forced into my blood stream thru my skin. I recently posted this article to my FB and upset that very MK consultant. Animal testing is a terrible thing and it should have never been started. With all of our technology you would think we would have found a better way!!

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