Church & Dwight, makers of Vitafusion PreNatal Multivitamin Gummies named in class action lawsuit over selling vitamins with folic acid in excess of tolerable upper limits



This is a proposed class action on behalf of a nationwide class (“Class”) and a California sub-class (“Sub-class”) (together, “Classes”) of consumers seeking redress for Defendant’s deceptive  practices associated with the advertising, labeling and sale of its Vitafusion PreNatal Multivitamin Gummy (“Product,” “Multivitamin,” or “Gummies”) in violation of state consumer protection laws and common law.

Defendant Church & Dwight Co., Inc. (“Church”) is one of the biggest manufacturers of household goods in America today. It is publicly traded and estimated to be worth in excess of $3.5 billion dollars. It manufacturers hundreds of household and personal care products ranging from cleaning agents to pregnancy tests and is constantly acquiring new product lines to add to its portfolio. In the summer of 2012, Church acquired Avid Health Inc., a manufacturer of gummy vitamins and supplements, for $650 million. Among the brands Church acquired in that transaction was Vitafusion, self-lauded as the “#1 Adult Gummy Vitamin Brand.” Among its products, Vitafusion makes a PreNatal Multivitamin Gummy  specifically formulated for pregnant women.

It is axiomatic that a diet in which one receives sufficient vitamins and minerals is critical to a healthy pregnancy. While the basic principles of healthy eating remain the same during pregnancy, certain nutrients are particularly critical.

One of these critical vitamins is folate or folic acid  — a B vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects and serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord during fetal development. Folic acid has also been shown to decrease the risk of premature birth.

Pregnant women, and women considering pregnancy are routinely encouraged to get sufficient amounts of folate or folic acid before conception and throughout pregnancy. According to the Institute of Medicine (“IOM”) and the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), women who could become pregnant should consume 400 micrograms (“mcg”) of folate daily, and women who are pregnant should consume 600 mcg of folate daily.

Because of the importance of folate, many foods are fortified with folic acid and pregnant women are encouraged to take multivitamins containing increased amounts of folic acid.

Although consumption of folic acid is critical, it is equally critical not to consume too much. According to the National Institutes of Health, folate that is naturally present in food is not harmful, but folic acid in supplements can be and should not be consumed in amounts above the Upper Tolerable Intake Limit (“Upper Limit”) established by the IOM.

For adult pregnant women, the Upper Limit for folic acid is 1000 mcg daily. Exceeding this Upper Limit has severe consequences.

Vitafusion’s PreNatal Gummy Multivitamin claims to contain 800 mcg of folic acid per serving—100% of the Recommended Daily Intake of that vitamin.

Contrary to its label, however, the Product routinely contains amounts of folic acid materially in excess of the claimed 800 mcg and well in excess of the tolerable Upper Limits.

By failing to label the folic content of its Product accurately, Defendant violates state and federal laws for dietary supplements, state consumer protection laws, and sells a Product that is potentially dangerous to both women and their unborn children.


ACH Food named in class action lawsuit over packaging of Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Baking Mix products


The lawsuit charges Defendant with intentionally packaging its Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Baking Mix products in opaque containers that contain approximately 50% empty space. Consumers, in reliance on the size of the containers, purchased the Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Baking Mix products, which they would not have purchased had they known that the containers were substantially empty.

Plaintiff purchased Defendant’s Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade® Baking Mix Cornbread product in June of 2017 in Poway, California. Plaintiff expected to receive a full container of the Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Baking Mix Cornbread product, which is packaged in non-transparent containers,

Plaintiff was surprised and disappointed when he opened the Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Baking Mix Cornbread product to discover that the container had more than 50% empty space, or slack-fill.

Had Plaintiff known about the slack-fill at the time of purchase, he would not have bought Defendant’s product.


General Motors named in class action lawsuit over defect in 2010-2017 Chevrolet Equinox vehicles which leads to excess oil consumption




GM designed, manufactured, distributed, marketed, sold, and leased Model Year 2010- 2017 Chevrolet Equinox vehicles with 2.4-liter engines (“Class Vehicles” or “Vehicles”) to Plaintiff and Class Members.

As alleged, prior to 2010, GM knew that the Class Vehicles contained one or more design and/or manufacturing defects, including, but not limited to, defects contained in the Class Vehicles’ engines that cause them to be unable to properly utilize the engine oil and, in fact, to improperly burn off and/or consume abnormally high amounts of oil (the “Oil Consumption Defect.”)

The Oil Consumption Defect is a safety concern because it prevents the engine from maintaining the proper level of engine oil, causing excessive oil consumption that cannot be reasonably anticipated or predicted. Therefore, the Oil Consumption Defect is unreasonably dangerous because it can cause engine failure while the Class Vehicles are in operation at any time and under any driving conditions or speeds, exposing the Class Vehicle drivers, their passengers, and others who share the road with them to serious risks of accidents and injury.

Because the Oil Consumption Defect can cause the Class Vehicles to consume unacceptably high amounts of engine oil, the rate of oil consumption for some Class Vehicles can be as high as one quart of oil per 1,000 miles driven. The Oil Consumption Defect thus requires the addition of substantial amounts of oil between scheduled oil changes and can even result in engine damage. As a result of the Oil Consumption Defect, its potential safety hazards, and GM’s refusal to acknowledge and fix the problem, many consumers have resorted to purchasing an extra supply of oil and carrying it with them at all times when driving.

The complaint claims GM knew of and concealed the existence of the Oil Consumption Defect contained in every Class Vehicle, along with the attendant dangerous safety problems and associated costs, from Plaintiff and Class Members at the time they purchased or leased their Class Vehicles and thereafter. GM’s concealment caused Plaintiffs and Class Members to experience the Oil Consumption Defect throughout the life of the Class Vehicles, which includes use within the warranty period.

Despite notice of the Oil Consumption Defect from various internal sources, GM has not recalled the Class Vehicles to repair the defect, has not offered all of its customers a suitable repair or replacement free of charge, and has not offered to reimburse all Class Vehicle owners and leaseholders who incurred costs relating to the defect, including, but not limited to, costs related to inspections, diagnosis, repairs, and unreasonably frequent oil changes/additions between scheduled oil changes.

As a result of their reliance on GM’s omissions and/or affirmative misrepresentations, owners and/or lessees of the Class Vehicles have suffered ascertainable losses of money, property, and/or of value of their Class Vehicles.


Fusion Brands named in class action lawsuit over use of slack-filled containers of its Clean Reserve Skin product


This lawsuit charges Defendant with intentionally packaging its products in opaque packages that contain a false bottom and a false top, such that the actual volume of product is a small fraction of the exterior volume of the container. Consumers, in reliance on the size of the containers, purchased these products, which they would not have purchased had they known that the containers were substantially empty.


Applied Optoelectronics, Inc. named in securities class action lawsuit


A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of purchasers of Applied Optoelectronics, Inc. (“Applied Opto”) (NASDAQ:AAOI) publicly traded securities during the period between July 13, 2017 and August 3, 2017 (the “Class Period”).

The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse facts regarding Applied Opto’s business and prospects, including that a major customer was reducing its purchases of the Company’s 40G receivers, which would have a severe negative impact on the Company’s financial performance. As a result of defendants’ false statements and/or omissions, the prices of the Company’s securities were artificially inflated, with its stock trading at more than $103 per share during the Class Period.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of Applied Opto securities during the Class Period (the “Class”). The plaintiff is represented by Robbins Geller, which has extensive experience in prosecuting investor class actions including actions involving financial fraud.

Ford named in class action over defect in driveshaft flexible coupling in 2015-2017 Ford Transit vans

The class action lawsuit against Ford is for damages caused by Ford Transit vans equipped with uniform and uniformly defective driveshaft flexible couplings manufactured, distributed, warranted, and sold/leased by Ford Motor Company and/or its related subsidiaries or affiliates (collectively, “Ford”).

The complaint claims that 2015-2017 Ford Transit vans suffer from a serious defect (the “Defect”) that results in the driveshaft flexible coupling (“flex disc”) cracking and ultimately failing, resulting in damage to the Class Vehicles and presenting a significant safety risk to Vehicle occupants.

The flex disc is a type of “universal joint” positioned between the engine (in specific, the transmission) and the driveshaft, and is used to transmit the rotational torque generated by the engine to the driveshaft, which in turn transmits it to the axles and finally the wheels, propelling the Vehicle.

The flex disc is made of flexible rubber material and is designed to allow some angular misalignment while reducing driveline vibration.  A triangular flange connecting the flex disc to the transmission is bolted on to one side of the flex disc using three of the holes; a similar triangular flange connecting the flex disc to the driveshaft is bolted on to the other side of the flex disc using the other three holes.

When the flex disc fails, it fails catastrophically. The failure causes the driveshaft violently to tear away from the transmission, which can result in severe damage surrounding Vehicle components, including brake and fuel lines, the transmission, rear end differential, torque converter, evaporation container, and other parts, mangling the driveshaft in the process. The damage to these components contributes to a dangerous loss of Vehicle control, including the loss of brakes and engine power. Further, the forward end of the driveshaft disconnecting from the transmission creates the risk that the driveshaft will “catch” on the ground beneath the Vehicle, violently forcing the driveshaft upwards which can pierce into the passenger cabin and cause the Vehicle to “pole vault,” i.e. catapult the entire Vehicle into the air.

While a Safety Recall was issued June 28, 2017, the complaint alleges that Ford does not have a permanent fix, but rather requires Class Vehicle owners to replace the flex disc “every 30,000 miles” until a permanent remedy becomes available.

As a result of Ford’s alleged misconduct, Plaintiff and Class Members were harmed and suffered actual damages, including that the Class Vehicles contain defective parts, have manifested and continue to manifest the Defect, and Ford has not provided a permanent remedy for this Defect. Furthermore, Plaintiff and Class Members have incurred, and will continue to incur, out-of-pocket unreimbursed costs and expenses relating to the Defect, including replacement parts, repair of other Vehicle systems damaged by the failure of the flex disc, and lost time and business opportunities caused by the time the Vehicles are waiting to be serviced.


Ford named in class action lawsuit over Ford trucks equipped with a lift kit and larger-than-stock tires installed at the time of purchase or lease

This class action lawsuit is brought by Plaintiff on behalf of those who purchased or leased one or more new Ford trucks equipped with a lift kit and larger-than-stock tires that had been installed/fitted at the time of purchase or lease (the “Lifted Trucks”). As alleged, the frames of the Lifted Trucks sit higher off the ground than “stock” vehicles of the same make and model (“Stock Trucks”). However, the jacks that come equipped with the Lifted Trucks are the same as those that come equipped with the Stock Trucks—i.e., designed to temporarily raise the comparatively lower frames of the Stock Trucks off the ground to allow drivers to change tires and perform routine maintenance. These jacks cannot safely be used on, and are not compatible with, the relatively higher frames of the Lifted Trucks.

The tires (e.g., metal rims and rubber tires) installed on the Lifted Trucks are larger in diameter than those installed on the Stock Trucks. However, the spare tires that come equipped with the Lifted Trucks are the same as those that come equipped with the Stock Trucks—i.e., relatively smaller in diameter than those on the Lifted Trucks—and thus do not match the size of, and cannot be used with, the relatively larger tires installed on the Lifted Trucks.

Upon information and belief, each Lifted Truck was sold with a manufacturer’s window sticker (“Monroney Sticker”) that represented that such vehicle came equipped with a jack and spare tire. The Monroney Sticker does not disclose that the jack and spare tire are only compatible with the Stock Trucks, but not with the Lifted Trucks.

Upon information and belief, each Lifted Truck comes equipped with a jack and spare tire. The jack is stored in a compartment inside the vehicle, and the spare tire is housed under the vehicle, below the frame. As described above, the jack and spare tire are only compatible with the Stock Trucks, but not with the Lifted Trucks. Thus, Lifted Trucks include a jack and spare tire that consumers reasonably assume will work with their vehicle – but the components do not.

The lawsuit claims that each person who has purchased or leased a Lifted Truck during the time period relevant to this action was injured by overpaying for a vehicle that did not come equipped with a functioning jack and spare tire, as Ford represented, and as each purchaser would have reasonably expected.


Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co. and Nutripack named in class action lawsuit over harmful ingredients in pet food

Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co. and Nutripack, LLC produce high-end pet foods that are specifically marketed to label-conscious consumers but that, contrary to their labels, contain harmful ingredients. The pet foods were advertised as premium, “100% beef,” and “human grade, USDA inspected meat,” but instead were composed of low quality, non-human grade ingredients and were produced at an unsanitary, non-USDA facility. Many of the Pet Foods were unsafe, adulterated meats, not from animals that were identified on the labels, and contained pentobarbital, a barbiturate used in the euthanizing of animals, the execution of humans and in physician-assisted deaths Plaintiffs’ use of these products led to the sickness of several of Plaintiffs’ pets, and the death of one.


Rexall Sundown named in class action lawsuit for falsely advertising that Osteo Bi-Flex is beneficial for joints


This is a consumer protection class action arising out of Defedant Rexall Sundown, Inc false and misleading advertising of its glucosamine products. Defendant markets, sells and distributes a line of joint health dietary supplements under the “Osteo Bi-Flex” brand name, and Defendant represents that these products are beneficial to the joints of the consumers who use them.

Each of the Osteo Bi-Flex products at issue in Defendant’s joint health product line, through their labeling and packaging, and through Defendant’s other advertising and marketing materials, communicate the same substantive message to consumers: that Osteo Bi-Flex provides meaningful joint health benefits.

As alleged, these representations are designed to induce consumers to believe that Defendant’s Osteo Bi-Flex joint health products are capable of actually providing meaningful joint benefits, and consumers purchase Defendant’s Osteo Bi-Flex joint health products solely for the purpose of enjoying these purported joint health benefits.

Defendant’s Osteo Bi-Flex products, however, are incapable of supporting or benefiting the health of human joints because the main ingredients in each of Defendant’s Osteo Bi-Flex products at issue, either alone or in combination with other ingredients, cannot support or benefit joint health. Accordingly, Defendant’s joint health representations are false, misleading and deceptive, and its Osteo Bi-Flex joint health products are worthless.