Payouts start for Kanebo over skin whitening complaints
According to a company spokeswoman, the Japanese cosmetics brand has already begun paying medical expenses for those affected but will now start paying the first stages of compensation for damages and any leave sufferers had to take from work as a result of seeking treatment.
Kanebo had reported at an earlier date that it would make payments to affected customers, but was intending to delay the compensation.
"In the past we said we will pay compensation and leave expenses when patients fully recuperate, but we have now decided to make interim payments if these customers wish," says the Kanebo rep.
Kanebo criticized for slow response
Last year the company was criticised for the slowness of their response, only beginning their recall in July 2013 of 54 products from the Blanchir Superior, Suisai, Twany, Impress and Aqualeaf brands, which caused vitiligo-like symptoms of blotchy skin discolouration.
The increasing group of claimants come from within the wider group of nearly 15,000 customers who the company acknowledge have been injured by the defective products, and are seeking damages from the company ranging from 5 million yen to nearly 50 million.
Payments to individuals will vary, the spokeswoman said, while declining to reveal the total cost, which Jiji Press said amounted to several billion yen (tens of millions of dollars).
Under the new rules, Kanebo holds itself to giving detailed explanations of the risks associated with its products, and to long-term trials involving a number of people before the products are marketed, according to a report in the Japan Times.