Woman claims lip gloss caused life-threatening injury

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Dec. 15, 2009, 3:37pm

SHERMAN – A Texas woman is suing three companies alleging that the lip gloss she put on caused her to have a severe allergic reaction that nearly caused her death.

Believing the product was unreasonably dangerous and defective, Gladys Wilkie first filed suit against Maybelline, L'Oreal and Walgreen's on Oct. 30 in the 62nd District Court of Lamar County.

The defendants transferred the case to federal court in the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas on Dec. 11.

According to the complaint, Wilkie bought a container of lip gloss from Walgreen's in the summer of 2008. She says she returned to work and applied the lip gloss in "a safe and customary manner" but claims she immediately suffered a severe allergic reaction and went into anaphylactic shock.

Wilkie claims she nearly died as a result of the allergic reaction and suffered severe, permanent and disabling injuries.

She alleges the defendants failed to identify the ingredients used in the manufacture of the product.

Causes of action filed against the defendants include manufacturing defect, design defect, marketing defect of a product, strict liability, corporate responsibility, negligence, corporate negligence and breach of warranty.

Wilkie accuses the defendant of negligence and creating an unreasonable risk for failing to list the ingredients within the lip gloss.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff will attempt to show "that the defendants failed to properly adhere to the governmental guidelines applicable to the sale and marketing of cosmetic devices."

Wilkie argues the defendants are guilty of the following acts of negligence:

  • Failing to adequately the product for safety;
  • Failing to advise of the ingredients or warn of the hidden dangers;
  • Failing to advise of the previous injuries and claims associated with use of the product; and
  • Failing to act as a reasonable prudent manufacturer, designer or marketer would under similar circumstances.

    The defendants deny the allegations and allege that the incident was caused by a pre-existing or unrelated medical condition.

    The plaintiff is seeking damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity, mental anguish, physical impairment, physical pain and mental anguish, pre and post judgment interest.

    Seeking exemplary damages, Wilkie argues that the "defendants' conduct was committed intentionally or with a conscious indifference to the safety and welfare of the plaintiff."

    Sulphur Springs attorney John C. Ginn of the law firm Smith McDowell Ginn is representing the plaintiff.

    U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell will preside over the litigation.

    Case No 4:09cv00608

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