(Cincinnati.com) -- Procter & Gamble has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over its Pampers Dry Max diapers, which plaintiffs claimed caused diaper rash and other skin problems.
Under the proposed settlement, which still needs a judge's approval, P&G will pay up to $2.7 million in attorneys' fees and spend $400,000 to fund training programs in pediatric skin health.
P&G has also agreed to pay $1,000 per child to the 59 plaintiffs in the class-action. The payments, the proposal says, are compensation only for their time and effort involved in the lawsuit, "not for reimbursement or compensation for any damages, injury, or reimbursement for medical bills."
The company has also agreed to add a paragraph to the Pampers packaging that includes a reference to the Pampers website and a toll-free number to call for information on diapering. It also agreed to add three paragraphs to the Pampers website about diaper rash with links for more information.
If approved, the settlement would end the major legal action over a new diaper variety.
P&G introduced the new Pampers early last year, with a new construction called Dry Max in two of its diaper varieties, Swaddlers and Cruisers. They were advertised as being thinner, yet more absorbent, than regular Pampers. Almost immediately, some moms reacted, saying they wanted the old diapers back.
Claims spread quickly via the Internet that the new diapers caused rashes and what some called "chemical burns." Some called for the product to be recalled.
P&G vigorously denied the claims, saying the materials have been used in its diapers since the 1980s, but that Dry Max products were assembled differently, with the pulp or fluffy material removed, making them thinner and lighter. The company said diaper rash is a common condition.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reviewed consumer complaints and scientific testing data provided by P&G and found no link between the new Pampers and diaper rash.
"This agreement allows us another opportunity to educate our consumers on important issues regarding their babies' health," said Fama Francisco, P&G's general manager for baby care, North America.