Tanning salons sue Nebraska Cancer Coalition for defamation

Seven small-business owners operating 30 tanning salons in the Omaha and Lincoln markets filed a lawsuit against the Nebraska Cancer Coalition and two of its officers.

The action filed in Douglas County District Court says the plaintiffs have been harmed by false, misleading and defamatory statements made by the NCC about their businesses and the indoor tanning industry. 

Plaintiffs say they account for 68 percent of the known tanning salons in the Omaha and Lincoln market areas and an estimated 84 percent of sales of tanning services in those markets, as well as a "very significant" percentage of total sales of tanning services in Nebraska.

Bart Bonn, president of Ashley Lynn's, Inc., the Palm Beach Tan franchisee in Nebraska, said in a news release: "We advocate moderate and sensible UV exposure for Nebraska citizens who choose to tan, and pride ourselves in operating our businesses within both FDA guidelines and the law. It is both unfair and unlawful for the NCC to attack our businesses with a campaign full of deception and untruths."

The Nebraska Cancer Coalition calls itself a statewide partnership of 350 individuals representing 200 public and private organizations, including hospitals, nonprofits, schools, colleges and government health agencies.

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