Bank of America pays $5.5 million to settle class action lawsuit over failure to properly report debt discharged in bankruptcy

Bank of America has agreed to pay $5.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging it failed to update credit report information for credit card accounts sold to third parties where the account holder’s debts were discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy after they were sold.

According to the lawsuit BOA’s failure to update credit card information when the account holder’s debts were sold meant that the trade lines did not indicate that the debts were included in bankruptcy. The trade lines allegedly continued to reflect that the debts were sold, charged off and $0 balance.

If you had a Bank of America credit card and your debts were discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be entitled to payment.

The deadline to opt out of or object to the Bank of America class action settlement is Jan. 30, 2018.  More information can be found at the settlement website.

General Motors named in class action lawsuit over defective dashboards



This is a class action lawsuit alleging that GM’s single panel dash board installations are inherently defective, prone to crack, and create an unreasonable safety hazard


As alleged, all GM Vehicles have Defective Dashboards that are designed, manufactured, and/or installed in such a way that they will crack. The cracks occur in GM Vehicles stored in all environments and in substantially uniform locations and presentations on the instrument panel. GM knew all this when it marketed and sold the GM Vehicles. To this day, GM is engaged in a systematic campaign to conceal the Defective Dashboards and the related safety risks—falsely representing to customers that the cracks are merely cosmetic.


According to the complaint, the Defective Dashboards reduce the GM Vehicles’ value and compromise the safe deployment of the airbags. Because GM has not remedied the defects in the dashboards installed on the GM Vehicles, a customer who replaces a Defective Dashboard would simply receive another Defective Dashboard. The cost to replace the Defective Dashboard with another Defective Dashboard, including parts and labor, can exceed $2000 for Plaintiffs and class members. Worse still, GM has failed and refused to cover the necessary repair and replacement under its warranty.

As a result of GM’s practices, Plaintiffs and the other Class members have suffered injury in fact and have lost money or property, including economic damages.


General Mills, maker of Annie’s Homegrown salad dressings named in class action for falsely claiming product is natural


This case arises out of Defendants’ deceptive, unfair, and false practices regarding their marketing of their Annie’s Naturals® salad dressings (the “Products”). As alleged, Defendants intentionally and conspicuously represent that the Products are “Natural.” The products further recite on the front bottom: “No artificial flavors, synthetic colors or synthetic preservatives.” The reasonable consumer would think, as did the Plaintiff, that the Products are “all Natural.” The Products, however, are not “all Natural” because they contain Xanthan Gum, a “Synthetic Ingredient.”


Apple sued for slowing down older model iPhones with new iOS

Plaintiff brings this class action on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated who purchased or otherwise owned an iPhone 6 smartphone or other older model iPhone manufactured and sold by Apple. Plaintiff and other iPhone owners began experiencing significant slowdown and performance issues with their phones when Apple updated the operating software of the phones to iOS 10.2.1 earlier this year. Apple represented to the public that iOS 10.2.1 and subsequent iOS updates were fully compatible with, and intended for use in, iPhone 6 and other older iPhone models. Plaintiff and the other Class Members were effectively compelled to update their iPhones to iOS 10.2.1 because Apple claimed the update provided “bug fixes and improves the security” of their phones.

As alleged, after updating to iOS 10.2.1, Plaintiff and others similarly situated, without any warning or notice, were left with phones that operated in a sluggish manner and failed to perform at the normal, expected standard prior to the update. Indeed, after the iOS update, iPhone owners experienced problems and delays using mobile applications, or “Apps,” on their phones, slowdowns in downloading data, battery drain, Wi-Fi and internet connectivity issues, and inadvertent shutdowns, among other concerns. Plaintiff and the other Class Members have therefore been harmed because they were forced to update their iPhones with operating software that degraded the performance and functionality of their phones, leaving them with phones that were significantly impaired in value.

On December 20, 2017, Apple confirmed that the iOS 10.2.1 update was responsible for slowing down and hindering the performance of the iPhone 6 and other older model iPhones. Apple claims the batteries used in iPhone 6 models were prone to causing unexpected shutdowns, and that the iOS 10.2.1 update was intended to prevent such shutdowns. To address the battery issues purportedly affecting iPhone 6 models, Apple used the iOS 10.2.1 update to “throttle,” or slow down, the processor speeds of those phones. Thus, as part of this purported “fix,” Apple intentionally caused the slowdown and impairment of its iPhone 6 and older model iPhones, to the detriment of Plaintiff and other Class Members.

Apple did not disclose to the public at the time of the iOS 10.2.1 update that it would be throttling the processor speeds of the iPhone 6 and other older model iPhones. Nor did Apple disclose at the time of the iOS update that there were any issues surrounding the batteries in those iPhones.

According to the complaint, a simple and easy fix of the purported shutdown problem would have been to provide notice to iPhone users and offer to replace the batteries in the iPhone 6 and other older-model phones. Apple, however, has never offered its customers the option of replacing the batteries in those phones. As a result, owners of the iPhone 6 and other older iPhone models have been stuck with inferior, poorly-performing phones, or worse yet, feel compelled to spend hundreds of dollars more to upgrade a newer model iPhone.


Class action alleges Horizon Organic Milk is not Organic


Danone and White Wave Foods Company have been named in class action alleging false and deceptive advertising of their Horizon Organic Milk plus DHA Omega-3 products.

Certified organic milk, such as Horizon Organic milk, is processed according to federal rules addressing factors such as animal raising and feeding practices, and use of nutritional additives such as DHA. For example, rules require milk marketed as organic to come from cows whose food was grown without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified seeds. Herds cannot be treated with hormones or antibiotics for their milk to be advertised as organic.

As alleged, the DHA Omega-3 added to Horizon Organic milk is derived from algae. The DHA Omega-3 used in Defendants’ milk is not organic. It is synthetically manufactured using Schizochytrium, a type of algae that is fed a continuous diet of corn syrup in order to boost reproduction. The corn syrup fed to the algae is derived from GMO corn. The DHA manufacturing process includes treating the microalgae with an enzyme that hydrolyzes the cell wall causing it to rupture and release DHA algal oil from the cell. The oil is released in an aqueous broth to form a water/oil emulsion. Isoropyl alcohol is added to break the oil and water emulsion. The DHA manufacturing process also requires the use of non-organic processing aids, some of which remain in the finished DHA product.

As alleged, an exclusive list of nutritional additives may be added to organic food products and the products still labeled “organic.” As early as 2008, the FDA and other agencies made clear that the only essential vitamins and minerals that could be added to food products labeled certified organic are: Protein, Vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, B12, Copper, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Biotin, Pantothenic acid, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, and Iodine. DHA Omega-3 is not on this list. Food manufacturers’ requests that DHA be added to the list of permitted synthetic ingredients in organic food have not been approved.

If a food product includes DHA Omega-3 as an ingredient or additive the product is not organic and it is false and misleading to label and advertise the product as organic.


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.


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.


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.