Australians who paid a premium for Nurofen's range of targeted pain relief products will be eligible for compensation after manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement in a class action lawsuit.
The settlement offer comes after the High Court of Australia upheld a
record fine issued to Reckitt Benckiser over its misleading range of
products in protracted court action taken by the Australian Competition and
Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Reckitt Benckiser has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit by making a
compensation payment of $3.5 million and covering the legal costs of firm
Bannister Law, provided the Federal Court grants approval.
People who purchased Nurofen's specific pain range of products will be able
to register a claim for compensation. Bannister Law is advising people to
keep an eye out for notices to be published in newspapers in every
"We recognise that we could have done more to assist our consumers in
navigating the Nurofen Specific Pain Range in Australia," Reckitt Benckiser
says in a statement.
Reckitt Benckiser claimed its Nurofen specific pain products were
formulated to treat a particular type of pain, such as back pain, migraines, period pain and tension headaches, but each product contained the same amount of active
ingredient ibuprofen lysine.
Estimates suggest Nurofen generated revenues of $45m from its range
of targeted pain relief products, which it sold from 2011 until the Federal Court ordered them to be removed from store shelves in late 2015.
Registrations for the class action were first taken by law firm Bannister
Law on Christmas Eve 2015, less than 10 days after the Federal Court ruled
in favour of the ACCC's action, finding Reckitt Benckiser violated
protected consumer rights by engaging in misleading conduct with its specific pain range of products.
The ACCC lodged an appeal claiming a fine of $1.7m would be of
little consequence to a company as large as Reckitt Benckiser. The fine was
increased in December 2016 to $6m, the highest corporate penalty
ever awarded for misleading conduct under Australian Consumer Law, and was
later upheld by the High Court of Australia upon being appealed by Reckitt