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Kanebo settles with more women in skin-whitening cosmetics lawsuit

This photo taken on July 4, 2013 in Tokyo shows some of the 54 Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. products being recalled by the company following 39 confirmed cases of patchy skin whitening in users. (Kyodo)

OSAKA (Kyodo) -- Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. agreed Monday to pay damages to an additional 44 women in Japan who developed blotches after using the company's skin-whitening products.

The women's lawyers did not disclose the amount of the settlement reached at the Osaka District Court, where the plaintiffs had sought a total of around 805 million yen ($7.2 million) in damages. Kanebo will pay each of the plaintiffs in accordance with their symptoms, the lawyers said.

Nearly 20,000 people had reported white spots on their skin after using the products containing Rhododenol, a whitening chemical, as of the end of June, with more than 18,000 of them having reached settlements with Kanebo, according to the company.

Of the 44 women in their 30s to 80s, 31 filed the damages suit in April 2015 and the others joined them later.

The skin-whitening products were sold from 2008. Kanebo recalled them in 2013.

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