The plaintiff's lawsuit reports that the woman contracted the herpes virus, also known as the virus that causes cold sores, after using one of the "common use" lipsticks. The woman, who chose not to identify herself, claims that she never had cold sores before using the Sephora lipstick and is seeking damages for the emotional pain she has experienced from contracting an "incurable lifelong affliction," CBS Los Angeles reported.
The woman also argues that the cosmetics chain did not include any warning that someone could expose themselves to diseases from using the trial samples, adding that many other companies use individual samples or other methods to prevent the potential exposure of their customers to diseases.
Oral herpes in an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus that causes fluid-filled lesions, called cold sores or fever blisters, on the lips, gums, tongue or the inside of the cheeks. The virus is spread through saliva or skin-to-skin contact.
The cosmetics chain has not released any statements addressing the woman's lawsuit.
A class-action lawsuit against Sephora was filed in 2014 by four US women of Chinese descent claiming that their online accounts, and the accounts of others with Asian names, were blocked because the company suspected them of purchasing discount items in bulk with the intention of reselling them.
The lawsuit was filed after a promotional sale resulted in Sephora's website crashing. Sephora claimed that the crash occurred because there were too many shoppers buying items in bulk to resell them for a profit. However, the lawsuit claimed that only customers with Asian names or email addresses from Chinese domains were blocked from the site.
Sephora released a statement after the lawsuit stating that "as we have said before, the allegations in this lawsuit are untrue and the claims are without merit. In fact, clients from many countries around the world, including the US, were impacted by the temporary outage of the company's website during a promotional event last year. Sephora would never engage in any form of discrimination with respect to its clients, and it looks forward to full exoneration in this lawsuit."
Sephora later reportedly opted to settle the class action lawsuit instead of enduring the long litigation process.