Stinson Attorneys Prevail Before Nebraska Supreme Court in Tanning Salon Suit
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (August 14, 2019)—Stinson LLP partners John Aisenbrey and Robin Carlson achieved a favorable outcome for the Nebraska Cancer Coalition when the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a group of tanning salon owners.
The Nebraska Cancer Coalition was sued in 2015 by several tanning salon owners, after it launched an educational campaign linking tanning to skin cancer. The coalition cited information from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and the National Toxicology Program warning of the risks of indoor tanning.
The lawsuit claimed that the campaign libeled the salons and violated the Nebraska Deceptive Trade Practice Act. Last week, the Nebraska Supreme Court rejected the claims, stating that the campaign was not targeted specifically at the local salons, but at the tanning industry as a whole.
The cancer coalition's statements "do not mention appellants or identify products or services of appellants beyond general statements on the risks of indoor tanning and tanning overall," Justice Jeffrey Funke wrote.
"This is the first such lawsuit that I'm aware of," said Carlson. "The decision affirms the right of cancer groups to continue to inform consumers of avoidable health and safety hazards. Its focus is on educating the public—particularly teens—on the risks of indoor tanning."