Olivina Napa Valley named in class action lawsuit over marketing products as Naturally Pure

This action seeks to remedy the deceptive and misleading business practices of Olivina Napa Valley LLC (hereinafter “Defendant”) with respect to the marketing and sales of the following Olivina Men products (hereinafter the “Products”):

Olivina Men All-In-One Body Wash Bourbon Cedar

Olivina Men Rinse Out I Leave In Conditioning Cream

Olivina Men Bourbon Cedar Aluminum-Free Deodorant

As alleged, Defendant manufactures, sells, and distributes the Products using a marketing and advertising campaign centered around claims that appeal to health conscious consumers, i.e., that its Products are “Naturally Pure.” This representation leads consumers to believe that the product contains natural ingredients. However, Defendant’s advertising and marketing campaign is false, deceptive, and misleading because the Products contain synthetic ingredients.

Plaintiff and those similarly situated (“Class Members”) relied on Defendant’s misrepresentations that the Products are “Naturally Pure” when purchasing the Products. Plaintiff and Class Members paid a premium for the Products over and above comparable products that did not purport to be “Naturally Pure.” Given that Plaintiff and Class Members paid a premium for the Products based on Defendant’s misrepresentations that they are “Naturally Pure” Plaintiff and Class Members suffered an injury in the amount of the premium paid.

Complaint

Lakewood Juices named in class action lawsuit over use of terms cold pressed and fresh pressed

This is a class action on behalf of a California class of consumers who purchased Lakewood Organic Juices (“Juices”) made by Florida Bottling bearing the phrases “cold pressed” and “fresh pressed” on their labels.

Lakewood markets a diverse line of pure organic and premium fruit juice products. Lakewood represents that its Juices are both “cold pressed” and “fresh pressed.” As alleged, these representations are false and misleading because Lakewood Juices are heat processed (pasteurized).

By law, the term “fresh,” when used on a food label in a manner that suggests or implies that the food is unprocessed, means that the food has not been subjected to thermal processing or any other form of preservation. Accordingly, juice that has been pasteurized cannot be labeled with the term “fresh.”

The term “cold pressed” is a non-thermal processing method that uses high pressure to kill bacteria rather than heat thereby maintaining most of the juice’s nutrients and living enzymes, which otherwise get destroyed by heat. Again, according to the complaint. juice that has been cold pressed cannot simultaneously be pasteurized.

Lakewood represents to consumers that its Juices are both cold pressed and fresh pressed in bold, italic, underlined, and large font on the front labels of the Juice bottles. But the truth is that Lakewood Juices are neither. In-deed, on the back of the label, in much smaller print, buried in the middle of a paragraph, Lakewood describes its Juices as pasteurized—a fact that renders the representations on the front of the Juice labels false and misleading.

Pure Brazilian named in class action lawsuit alleging false labeling of coconut water

Pure Brazilian, LLC (‘Defendant”) manufactures Pure Brazilian Coconut Water through two main production steps. The first is the extraction of coconut water through slicing it in half or perforating it at the top, which releases the liquid into a collection tray before being bottled. The second is high pressure processing, where the bottles are subjected to pressure up to 87,000 pounds per square inch (“psi”). This reduces the biological, enzymatic and bacterial activity, but increases shelf life from 3-5 days to 6-8 weeks.

Defendant represents its product as “cold pressed” and “pure” on the front label, while statements on the back stress “Live Pure” and “Drink Pure.”

Cold pressing is a juice extraction method where pressure is applied to the pulp of fruits and vegetables, resulting in the liquids contained therein being released. Consumers pay a premium for a cold pressed juice product because it means more nutrients are retained than if a centrifugal machine like a blender was used.

As alleged, it is false to describe the Products as cold pressed because the juice inside a coconut is not extracted through a pressure mechanism. By highlighting an extraction step and not disclosing the processing step, consumers are misled into believing the Product is not modified from its original state. Reasonable consumers interpret the term “pure” in the context of juice to describe and identify an unprocessed and untreated product. Because coconut water is available in an unprocessed and untreated form, defendant’s “pure” representation falsely signifies that its Products are of a higher quality and value than they actually are.

Complaint

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc named in class action lawsuit alleging false advertising

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.’s (DPSG) popular beverage, Diet Dr. Pepper, is sweetened with aspartame, a non-caloric sweetener, rather than sugar. Because of the product’s use of the term “diet,” and its lack of calories, consumers reasonably believe that drinking Diet Dr. Pepper will assist in weight loss or management.

According to the complaint, scientific evidence demonstrates this is wrong because non-nutritive sweeteners like aspartame interfere with the body’s ability to properly metabolize calories, leading to weight gain and increased risk of metabolic disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

As alleged, DPSG’s marketing Diet Dr. Pepper as “diet” is false, misleading, and unlawful. Plaintiff brings this action on behalf of herself, other Diet Dr. Pepper consumers, and the general public, to enjoin DPSG from continuing to misleadingly advertise Diet Dr. Pepper, and to recover restitution and damages for the class.

Complaint

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.

Complaint

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.

Complaint

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.

Complaint

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.

Complaint

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.

Complaint