Kanebo to start compensation payouts

Japanese cosmetics firm to start offering interim compensation payments to 4,000 people who suffered blotches on their skin after using its whitening creams last year.

Kanebo Cosmetics is to start offering interim compensation payments to 4,000 people who suffered blotches on their skin after using its whitening creams last year.

The figure represents more than a quarter of the 15,000 complaints from users of 54 products containing Rhododenol, a chemical ingredient developed by Kanebo, which were recalled last year. Users were left with blotches and discolouration after using the creams, which are intended to lighten skin tone.

Kanebo has already begun paying medical expenses for those affected and will now begin paying initial compensation for damages and any time off from work the victims had to take for treatment. The 4,000 people receiving the interim payments still bear marks almost a year after they stopped using the products. Kanebo initially planned to pay compensation and expenses when patients had fully recovered, but has now decided to make interim payments if customers wish.

The interim payments are expected to fall between ¥400,000 and ¥500,000 for each claimant. The company has not said how much it expects to pay out in total compensation, but media comment in Japan puts the total figure at around ¥7bn, excluding medical costs.

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