Trader Joe’s named in class action lawsuit for misleading labeling of Joe’s Black Truffle Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

This is a class action against Trader Joe’s Company for its false, misleading, and deceptive misbranding of its Trader Joe’s Black Truffle Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil (the “Product” or “Trader Joe’s Truffle Oil”) sold to consumers. Trader Joe’s markets its truffle oil as being flavored by actual “Black Truffle[s].” But Trader Joe’s Truffle Oil is nothing of the sort; instead of flavoring its oil with actual “Black Truffle[s],” Defendant’s Product is flavored by an industrially produced, chemically-derived perfume known as “2,4-dithiapentane.” Despite the absence of actual “Black Truffle,” Trader Joe’s Truffle Oil is sold at a substantial price premium over olive oil not flavored with real truffles.

As alleged, 2,4-Dithiapentane, also known as “formaldehyde dimethyl mercaptal,” is synthetically prepared by the acid-catalyzed addition of methyl mercaptan to formaldehyde. Although it emulates the taste and smell of truffles, it is not truffle.

The mislabeling of Trader Joe’s Truffle Oil renders the product completely worthless. By mislabeling its products, Trader Joe’s dupes consumers into purchasing something that is not truffle oil. Nevertheless, Trader Joe’s Truffle Oil is labeled and sold as premium truffle oil, and it commands a significant price premium over other olive oil products.

Complaint

Nice-Pak Products, Inc, Costco and CVS named in class action over sale of purportedly flushable baby-wipes

This class action is brought against Defendants Costco Wholesale Corporation, CVS and Nice-Pak Products, Inc. (“Nice-Pak”) (collectively referred to as “Defendants”) to recover for the harm caused by Defendants’ deceptive, improper or unlawful conduct in the design, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, and sale of flushable wipes. Flushable wipes include all wipe products marketed and advertised by manufacturers as able to be flushed without causing harm to plumbing and sewer systems.

Defendant Nice-Pak manufactures Kirkland Signature Moist Flushable Wipes for Defendant Costco under its generic brand, Kirkland Signature (the “Kirkland Signature Wipes”). Defendant Nice-Pak manufactures the brand Total Home by CVS Flushable Moist Wipes (together with the CVS Brand Flushable Wipes, the “CVS Flushable Wipes”) for CVS.

Because flushable wipes do not disintegrate immediately upon flushing, like toilet paper, they cause serious problems for homeowners and municipalities alike. An article in New York Magazine chronicling the problems caused by flushable wipes points out that flushable wipes do not break down as easily as toilet paper, nor can they, if they are to do their job effectively. Unlike toilet paper, flushable wipes must hold up under the pressure of scrubbing after being soaked in water and propylene glycol lotion for an extended period of time. To be useful, flushable wipes must be strong enough to do their job effectively, which cannot be done if they disintegrate in water as easily as toilet paper. Thus “the very thing that makes a wet wipe good at its job makes it a problem once it’s discarded.”

Plaintiffs and other consumers purchased defective flushable wipes designed, marketed, manufactured, distributed, and sold by Defendants as safe to be flushed (the “Class”). Through the ordinary and/or directed use of flushable wipes, consumers across the country experienced plumbing issues, including clogged toilets, clogged pipes, flooding of home basements and other plumbing problems. Plaintiff and members of the Class would not have purchased the flushable wipes and/or paid the purchase price for the flushable wipes if they knew that flushing the wipes would cause the wipes to become clogged in sewer or septic systems. Absent Defendants’ actions, and had Plaintiff and members of the Class known of the defective nature of the flushable wipes, Plaintiff and members of the Class would not have purchased and/or paid the purchase price for the flushable wipes. And, absent Defendants’ actions, and had Plaintiff and members of the Class known of the defective nature of the flushable wipes, Plaintiff and members of the Class would not have used the flushable wipes in their homes and risked damaging the plumbing systems in their homes, or, worse, causing damage in their homes due to backups caused by the use of flushable wipes.

CVS Complaint

Costco Complaint

Family Dollar named in class action lawsuit for falsely advertising Tropic Sun Aloe Vera Gel

This is a nationwide consumer class action brought by Plaintiff on behalf of all individuals who purchased Defendants’ Tropic Sun Aloe Vera Gel.

Family Dollar Defendants advertise, market, sell, and distribute the Product. The Product’s label declares it to be “Made with 100% Pure Aloe.” According to the Product’s ingredient label, it contains “Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice.” In reality, according to independent laboratory tests, Defendants’ Product contain no actual Aloe Vera at all.

The complaint alleges that the product’s label is false, deceptive and misleading, in violation of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetics Act and its parallel state statutes, and almost every state warranty, consumer protection, and product labeling law in the United States.

Banner Health named in class action lawsuit over data breach and failure to implement reasonable cybersecurity measures

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On August 3, 2016, Defendant Banner Health announced that hackers had infiltrated their systems and compromised a broad spectrum of personal information, affecting over 3.7 million individuals. Because Banner failed to implement reasonable cybersecurity measures, the hackers were able to target and access payment card data at Banner food and beverage outlets, such as cardholder names, card numbers, expiration dates, and verification codes. But the hackers also infiltrated the computer systems where Banner stored its customers’ most private (and valuable) information, including their personal health details, Social Security numbers, health insurance information, financial information, names, birthdates, and addresses. Banner’s cybersecurity was so inadequate that the hackers even accessed the systems that stored information on Banner’s healthcare providers, including their Drug Enforcement Agency numbers, Tax Identification numbers, National Provider Identifiers, and Social Security numbers.

Banner claims that the breach began on June 17, 2016, and that it failed to detect that hackers had accessed its payment card systems until July 7, 2016. It also claims that it did not detect the compromise of patient and employee information until July 13, 2016. Even then, Banner did not publicly disclose the breach until August 3, 2016 and still has not notified all those affected.

The personal information of Banner customers and healthcare providers has been exposed—and their identities put at risk—because Banner failed to maintain reasonable and adequate security measures. Despite having legal and moral obligations to protect the vast amounts of extremely sensitive and valuable personal information it stored, Banner repeatedly failed to prevent, detect, or limit the scope of this breach.

The complaint alleges that, among other things, Banner (1) failed to implement adequate security measures to prevent hackers from infiltrating its systems; (2) failed to employ adequate security tools and techniques to detect unauthorized network activity or failed to respond to indicators of compromise; and (3) failed to adequately segment its networks, which would have limited the hackers’ ability to access the various systems and data warehouses within Banner’s computer networks.

Plaintiff is a former Banner patient who received a letter from Banner informing her that her personal information was involved in the breach. She brings this action on behalf of herself and all those whose personal information has been compromised as a result of the data breach. She seeks injunctive relief requiring Banner to implement and maintain adequate security practices, to comply with laws, regulations, and industry standards designed to prevent, detect, and mitigate, this type of breach, as well as restitution, damages, and other relief.

COMPLAINT

Apple named in class action lawsuit over Error 53 leaving IPhones inoperative

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The class action was brought on behalf of Apple phone users that suffered an Error 53 code which is the result of an imbedded function within iOS, Apple’s operating system, that affects iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus smartphones. The code has rendered thousands of the smartphones completely disabled or “bricked” after its users updated iOS or restored the device from a backup.

As alleged, consumers began receiving an Error 53 code in early 2015, and likely earlier. Many consumers raised the issue with Apple representatives immediately because an inoperable phone represented hardships both personally and professionally. Apple representatives told consumers that disabled phones could not be fixed under warranty and were a problem the consumer created by using an unauthorized repair service to fix a hardware issue with the phone. Some consumers had used a repair service other than an Apple service to fix problems such as broken screens and “Home” buttons, but they pointed out to Apple representatives that nothing in marketing materials or purchase documents ever disclosed that their iPhone products would be destroyed by an imbedded software code if they had repaired iPhones using an independent service and then updated to certain iOS versions. Other consumers advised Apple representatives that no repairs had been done but the error code had disabled their iPhone anyway. Apple has regularly advised consumers who have experienced the Error 53 code that their situation will not be fixed under warranty and, frequently, that the only solution is to purchase a new phone. Despite months of opportunity to provide a replacement iPhone and/or restore existing iPhones, Apple has offered no remedy to or relief for its customers. This lawsuit seeks to provide both remedy and relief for consumers of the Affected Models who have experienced the Error 53 code.

The “security features” and “security” measures that gave rise to the Error 53 code were included within iOS version 8.0.1 and all subsequent versions of the iOS 8 operating system, as well as the iOS 9 operating system and subsequent versions. Despite knowing about the security features, Apple took no steps to warn consumers and owners of the Affected Models that updating software or restoring data would result in an Error 53 code that would render the phone inoperable and cause data loss. As of November 2015, it was estimated that more than 62 million units of the Affected Models were in use in the United States, meaning that Apple’s misleading and unfair practices as alleged in this Complaint have had and will continue to have a widespread impact on consumers throughout the nation.

Complaint

The Wendy’s Company named in class action lawsuit over data breach exposing customers’ private information

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This is a class action against The Wendy’s Company (“Wendy’s” or “Defendant”) for its failure to secure and safeguard its customers’ credit and debit card numbers and other payment card data (“PCD”), and other personally identifiable information which Wendy’s collected at the time Plaintiff made a purchase of food items at one its restaurants (“PII”) (collectively, “Private Information”), and for failing to provide timely, accurate and adequate notice to Plaintiff and other Class members that their Private Information had been stolen and precisely what types of information were stolen.

Beginning at a point in time presently unknown, hackers utilizing malicious malware accessed the computer systems at Wendy’s locations throughout the United States and stole copies of Wendy’s customers’ Private Information (the “Data Breach”).

On January 27, 2016, Wendy’s announced that it had discovered malicious software designed to steal credit card and debit card data on computers that operate the payment processing systems for its restaurants. Wendy’s released very few details, nor did it explain why it had delayed notification of the public through a press release of the Data Breach. In its press release, Wendy’s acknowledged the weakness of its security system at the time of the Data Breach, and that since the Data Breach it had taken steps to strengthen the security of its systems.Unfortunately, Wendy’s did not explain why such security measures had not already been in place at the time of the Data Breach to prevent the loss of Plaintiff’s and class members’ PII.

According to the complaint, Wendy’s could have prevented this Data Breach. The malicious software used in the Data Breach was more than likely a variant of “BlackPOS, the identical malware strain that hackers used in last year’s data breach at many other retail establishments. While many retailers, banks and card companies responded to recent breaches by adopting technology that helps makes transactions more secure, Wendy’s has acknowledged that it has retained a security consultant to review and look into its systems. The quality of the measures in place are suspect and the need for judicial intervention and consumer and independent oversight is mandated by the circumstances described herein.

As alleged, Plaintiff s and Class members’ Private Information was improperly handled and stored, was unencrypted, and was not kept in accordance with applicable, required, and appropriate cyber-security protocols, policies, and procedures. As a result, Plaintiff s and Class members’ Private Information was compromised and stolen. However, as this same information remains stored in Wendy’s computer systems, Plaintiff and class members have an interest in ensuring that their information is safe, and they should be entitled to seek injunctive and other equitable relief, including independent oversight of Wendy’s security systems.

Complaint

 

Mercedes named in class action lawsuit over defect in the 722.9 7G-Tronic automatic transmission

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Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated owners and lessees in California of Mercedes Benz automobiles equipped with the 722.9 7G-Tronic automatic transmission.  As detailed in the complaint, the subject transmission is defective, having a defect in the transmission’s valve body and conductor plate that causes the transmission to fail prematurely and need replacement well before the useful life of the transmission or the vehicle in which it is housed.

As alleged, Defendant Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (“MBUSA” or “Defendant”) has known about this defect for years, circulating internal Technical Service Bulletins to its factory-authorized dealerships that detail the nature of the transmission problem. Indeed, the defective 722.9 transmission has failed to such a widespread extent that, at one point, MBUSA was unable to supply sufficient replacement transmission components to have the defective transmissions repaired and, as a result, for a long time, MBUSA prevented independent service stations from purchasing such replacement parts.   Worse yet, when the transmission valve body or conductor plate fails in the Mercedes-Benz 722.9 transmission, a real safety hazard ensues.  As a result of the defect, the transmission will have a difficult time shifting from first to second gear, and will not shift to higher gears, causing the vehicle to be unable to be driven at any speed.  The fault will then cause the transmission to enter what is referred to as “Limp Mode,” leaving the car to “limp” along the roadway in a very restricted and limited fashion.   Despite this and despite the clear defect and Defendant’s knowledge of it, MBUSA has failed to take any action.  Because the defective transmission typically manifests itself outside the 4 year/50,000 mile durations limit of MBUSA’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty, MBUSA washes its hands of any liability, fails to disclose this defect, and leave consumers of the affected vehicles, like Plaintiffs, to pay for the costly repair of the transmission to the tune of several thousands of dollars.

Plaintiffs, who own a 2007 Mercedes-Benz S-550 originally equipped with the defective 722.9 transmission suffered this fate, had their vehicle’s transmission fail repeatedly on the roadway when the car had just 57,000 miles or so, and were denied any consideration by MBUSA.   Given MBUSA’s failure to stand behind its product, Plaintiffs were forced to and did pay over $2,000 to have the transmission valve body replaced.  Needless to say, transmissions in cars having only 57,000 miles should not fail—much less should they fail by the thousands in Mercedes-Benz cars across the country.  Plaintiffs file this lawsuit to seek redress for MBUSA’s violations of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”) and California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”).

MBUSA Complaint

Babo Botanicals named in class action lawsuit for deceptive advertising

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This class action seeks to remedy the deceptive and misleading business practices of Babo Botanicals, LLC with respect to the marketing and sales of Babo Botanicals Calming Baby Lotion, Babo Botanicals 3-in-1 Calming Shampoo, Bubble Bath and Wash, Babo Botanicals Moisturizing Baby Bubble Bath and Wash, Babo Botanicals Moisturizing Baby Shampoo and Wash, Babo Botanicals Moisturizing Baby Lotion, Babo Botanicals Miracle Moisturizing Cream, Babo Botanicals Smoothing Shampoo and Wash, Babo Botanicals Smoothing Detangling Spray, Babo Botanicals Lice Repel Botanicals Lice Repel Shampoo, Babo Botanicals Swim & Sport Conditioner, Babo Botanicals 30 SPF Clear Zinc Sunscreen-Fragrance Free, Babo Botanicals Swim & Sport Shampoo & Wash, and Babo Botanicals 30 SPF Clear Zinc Sunscreen, (hereinafter the “Products”) throughout the State of New York and the country.

Defendant manufactures, sells, and distributes the Products using a marketing and advertising campaign that is centered around claims appealing to health conscious consumers that their Products offer “Natural Solutions” and/or were “Natural” and/or “All Natural”. As alleged, however, Defendant’s advertising and marketing campaign is false, deceptive, and misleading because the Products contain various artificial and synthetic ingredients, some of which have been associated with the risk of developing severe health problems.

Plaintiff relied on Defendant’s misrepresentations that the Products offer “Natural Solutions” and/or were “Natural” and/or “All Natural” when purchasing the Products. Plaintiff and Class Members paid a premium for the Products over comparable products that did not purport to be natural. Given that Plaintiff and Class Members paid a premium for the Products based on Defendant’s misrepresentations that they offered “Natural Solutions” and/or were “Natural” and/or “All Natural”, Plaintiff and Class Members suffered an injury in the amount of the premium paid.

 

BMW named in class action lawsuit over comfort access feature IN X5 vehicles

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As alleged, the comfort access feature is a convenience feature integrated into the Class Vehicles, and their remote controls. With regard to the functionality of the comfort access feature, the BMW NA owners’ manual states, “The concept: The vehicle can be accessed without activating the remote control. All you need to do is to have the remote control with you, e.g., in your jacket pocket. The vehicle automatically detects the remote control when it is nearby or in the passenger compartment.

Comfort access supports the following functions: Unlocking/locking of the vehicle.” The owners’ manual goes on to say, “Functional requirement: To lock the vehicle, the remote control must be located outside of the vehicle.” The owners’ manual clearly instructs operators of Class Vehicles that in order to lock the vehicle, the remote control must be located outside of the vehicle, and thus, if the remote control is located inside of the vehicle, the vehicle cannot lock.

As alleged, the comfort feature is defective. Numerous owners and lessees of 2008 through 2015 BMW X5 vehicles have reported that their vehicles have automatically locked while the remote control has been inside of their vehicles, at times trapping children inside their vehicles.

The Class Vehicles consist of all model year 2008 through 2015 BMW X5 vehicles equipped with the comfort access feature, sold or leased to consumers in California.

COMPLAINT

 

BMW named in class action lawsuit over defects in cars equipped with N63B4400 engines

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Plaintiff bring this class action lawsuit against BMW on behalf of all persons who currently own or lease a 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, X5 and/or X6 model BMW equipped with the 4.4-liter V8 version of the N63B4400 engine, manufactured between 2008 and 2013.

As alleged, these engines suffer reliability issues that result from problems relating to the timing chain, fuel injectors, mass airflow sensors, crankcase vent lines, battery, the engine vacuum pump and low-pressure fuel sensors. Such problems led to more serious concerns such as excessive battery drainage (the “Battery Defect”), oil leakage (the “Oil Defect”) and engine seizure, often causing pistons to crack the engine block due to the high pressure (the “Engine Defect”). Such engine reliability issues have arisen with the N63 Engine regardless of mileage, sometimes even occurring in vehicles with less than 20,000 miles.

COMPLAINT