Blue Diamond Growers  named in class action lawsuit alleging false advertising

Blue Diamond Growers  manufactures, distributes, markets, labels and sells “Almond Nut-Thins” (crackers) under the “Blue Diamond Almonds” brand.

The Products’ common principal display panel representations include (i) their name, “Almond Nut-Thins,” (ii) a more specific identification as “Nut & Rice Cracker Snacks,” and (iii) vignettes of almonds. The back of the packages state “As The Almond People®, we’re pretty partial to almonds in anything, but we think you’ll agree these crispy crackers go well with almost anything.

As alleged, the Products are misleading because despite the labels naming them “Almond NutThins” and more specifically identifying them as “Nut & Rice Cracker Snacks,” they are actually rice-flour based crackers, which happen to include equivalent amounts of “almonds” as they do “potatoes.”

According to the complaint, Plaintiff believed the Almond Products were made with almonds as predominant ingredient in the same way consumers would observe wheat crackers and reasonably expect they were composed mainly of wheat. Plaintiff desired to purchase a product that was made primarily of almond ingredients and believed that the predominant ingredients was almonds or derived from almonds.

Arizona Beverage Company named in class action lawsuit for false advertising

 

 

 

The complaint brought on behalf a nationwide class of consumers claims the Defendant falsely advertises is products as having “no preservatives” but in truth contains a number of preservatives such as citric and ascorbic acids which render the advertising claim false and misleading.

As alleged, conscious of consumers’ increased interest in more nutritious beverages free of additives and willingness to pay more for products perceived to meet this preference, Defendant misleadingly, illegally, and deceptively seeks to capitalize on these consumer health trends.

Products include

Arizona Iced Tea with Lemon Flavor (citric acid and ascorbic acid in the bottle; citric acid only in the can).

Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

Arizona Arnold Palmer Lite Half Iced Tea Half Lemonade (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

Arizona Peach Zero Calorie Iced Tea (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

Arizona Diet Peach Iced tea (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

Arizona Raspberry Half Iced Tea Half Lemonade (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

Arizona Cranberry Iced Tea (citric acid).

Arizona Grapeade (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

Arizona Half Iced Tea Half Lemonade (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

Arizona Peach Iced Tea (citric acid).

Arizona Raspberry Iced Tea (citric acid).

Arizona Energy Drink Extreme Performance Fruit Punch (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

Arizona Energy Drink Extreme Performance (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

Arizona Energy Drink Low Carb Performance (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

Arizona Real Brewed Sweet Tea (citric acid).

Arizona Arnold Palmer Zero Half Iced Tea Half Lemonade (citric acid).

Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

Arizona Fruit Punch Fruit Juice (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

Arizona Mucho Mango Juice (citric acid and ascorbic acid).

 

BMW named in class action over 014-2016 year BMW i3 vehicles with a Range Extender

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This class action is brought on behalf of those who purchased or leased 2014-2016 model year BMW i3 vehicles with a Range Extender (hereafter “i3 REx” or “Class Vehicles”).

The i3 is part of BMW’s new line of electric and electric-hybrid vehicles. The i3 is offered with an additional feature called a Range Extender –a gasoline-powered, two-cylinder combustion engine with a small fuel tank that engages when the i3 electric battery level drops to a certain level. The Range Extender supposedly allows the vehicle to operate for many miles (double the mileage, according to BMW) after the electric battery in the i3 loses power and is a large selling point for BMW to prospective owners and lessees of the i3.

As alleged, BMW’s i3 vehicles were widely touted by BMW as being “ideal for everyday use.” The actual performance of the i3 REx, however, is far from ideal. Unfortunately for consumers like Plaintiff, model years 2014-2016 BMW i3 Rex vehicles suffer from a serious defect that manifests when the Class Vehicles transition from running on the electric battery to the fuel-powered Range Extender. Specifically, within minutes after this transition occurs, Class Vehicles experience a drastic loss of power and reduction in speed, referred to as “limp mode,” creating a serious safety risk for owners and lessees of Class Vehicles, as well as other drivers on the roads.

In addition to affirmatively touting the Class Vehicles as “ideal for everyday use,” BMW also fails to inform prospective owners and lessees of the i3 REx that the vehicle is plagued with this defect and that owners and lessees of the Class Vehicles will inevitably experience a significant power loss or deceleration in certain driving scenarios, including under conditions where the defect can pose a significant threat to safety.

Despite several complaints by consumers about this issue, BMW has done nothing to satisfactorily remedy the defect. The only action BMW appears to have taken is to provide a software update that results in a five-word electronic warning on Class Vehicle dashboards when the vehicle’s electric battery level is low that states “Low Batter: Power reduction possible.” This response is woefully inadequate and clearly does nothing to eliminate the clear safety concerns created by the deceleration defect in Class Vehicles, nor does it fix the actual deceleration problem itself.

Complaint

FTC issues warning Letters to 45 contact lens prescribers and 10 contact lens sellers warning them of potential violations of the agency’s Contact Lens Rule

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According to the law, an eye doctor must give the consumer a contact lens prescription after a fitting. It’s the law. The Contact Lens Rule is intended to facilitate the ability of consumers to comparison shop for contact lenses while ensuring that sales occur only in accordance with a valid prescription.  Under the Rule, prescribers fitting patients for contact lenses are required to give them their prescription at the end of the fitting. Prescribers also are prohibited from charging additional fees for releasing the prescription and from obligating a patient either to buy contact lenses from them, or to sign a waiver, before releasing a prescription.

Sellers may provide contact lenses to consumers only after either obtaining a copy of a valid prescription or, alternatively, verifying the prescription with the prescriber. Sellers may not dispense lenses using an expired prescription, and may only substitute lenses under certain conditions, as specified in the Rule.

The letters issued by the FTC warn the prescribers and sellers that violations of the Rule may result in legal action, including civil penalties of up to $16,000 per violation.

Has this happened to you? Share your story or contact us directly to inquire about your legal rights.

Colgate-Palmolive sued over unnatural ingredients in Tom’s of Main products

The class action lawsuit was brought against Colgate-Palmolive Company and its subsidiary, Tom’s of Maine, Inc.  for the deceptive practice of marketing their Tom’s of Maine toothpaste products as “Natural” when they contain non-natural, highly chemically processed ingredients such as Glycerin and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

As alleged, glycerin is a chief ingredient in all of the formulations of Tom’s of Maine® toothpastes, including the (1) Whitening, (2) Multi-benefit, (3) Fresh Breath, (4) Anticavity, (5) Sensitive, (6) Children’s, (7) Fluoride-Free and (8) SLSFree product lines. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a chief ingredient in all formulations but the SLSFree product line, which explicitly eliminated Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or SLS, from the formula.

As alleged, Glycerin is a factory-produced texturizer that is created by complex processing and does not occur in nature. It is commonly used in processed foods as a sugar substitute, filler and thickening agent.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is factory-produced foaming agent that is created by complex processing and also does not occur in nature. It is commonly used in hygiene and cleaning products as a thickening and foaming agent in shampoos, dishwashing liquids, and laundry detergents.

Investigation of Volkswagen, Porsche & Audi over use of soy-based wiring susceptible to destruction by vermin

Volkswagen, Porsche & Audi drivers have complained of numerous electrical issues and failures caused by a variety of vermin gnawing, chewing and ultimately eating through the electrical wires powering these cars.  Upon information and belief the manufacturers of these vehicles use soy based sheathing on the electrical wires that attracts a wide variety of vermin such as mice, rodents, rats, squirrels and even animals as large as possums. Depending on the wires that are damaged, this may lead to a variety of problems resulting in hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in repairs.  In addition to the effect on a variety of electrical systems, which itself poses a safety hazard to drivers and vehicle occupants, these animals may carry disease and therefore pose an additional health hazard by their presence in vehicles.

Volkswagen, Porsche & Audi manufacturers are manifestly aware that use of an organic based sheathing on wiring components has attracted a variety of vermin, and caused hundreds, if not thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to affected vehicles.  Despite this knowledge, manufacturers have refused to accept responsibility for the damage and routinely reject consumer claims both in and out of warranty, placing the onus of the entire bill on the car owners.

We believe this practice is unfair and potentially actionable. If your car has been affected by this issue and you wish to discuss your legal rights and potential remedies please use the contact attorney box below.  Also, if you wish to share your story publicly, we welcome your comments below.

 

Walden University and Laureate Education, Inc named in class action lawsuit over systematic prolonging of the thesis and dissertation process

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The dissertation and thesis processes lack institutional oversight and operate in complete disregard for Walden University’s own policies creating an endless process that drags on for quarter after quarter, year after year for students. This prolonged process causes students to spend more money on tuition than was represented to them by Walden University.

As alleged, the process for students to obtain a dissertation or thesis supervisory committee chair and member is extremely difficult. Even worse, retaining the committee chair and committee member throughout the entire process is an additional challenge.

The Complaint claims that most Walden University doctoral and master’s students experience a loss of a supervisory committee chair or member at least once – and usually many more times – during the course of their dissertation or thesis. Walden University’s failure to regulate the supervisory committee program thus unnecessarily prolongs students’ efforts to obtain their degrees, and results in students extending their enrollment in their respective dissertation or thesis course and paying additional tuition.

Walden University Complaint

Stipulation of Dismissal

NEW LAWSUIT (OCTOBER 2016) www.waldenuniversitylawsuit.com

General Nutrition Corporation named in class action lawsuit over advertisement of Staminol

This is a class action regarding Defendant’s false and misleading advertisement of its health-supplement, Staminol, which it falsely represents will serve to increase male sexual performance and vitality and, additionally, will treat prostate and urinary flow issues. None of those claims regarding Staminol are true and none have been evaluated or tested by the FDA. To the contrary, each of Defendant’s claims is flatly contradicted by scientific research and testing.

Defendant distributes, markets, and sells Staminol, an over the counter dietary supplement for men which Defendant claims, on the product packaging and, additionally, via its nationwide marketing, will enhance the sexual performance of its users. The primary ingredients in Staminol include “Horny Goat Weed” (Epimedium Extract), “Maca Root Powder,” “L-arginine,” “Catuaba Bark,” “Oat Straw Stems,” “Damiana Leaf,” “Saw Palmetto Berry,” and “Muira Root.” Specifically, Defendant represents, via an extensive and uniform nation-wide advertising campaign, that Staminol “supports male vitality” and “sexual health,” “supports urinary flow and prostate health,” and is “formulated with premium ingredients to provide maximum potency.”

As alleged, the packaging of Staminol states that the product is designed to “enhance male sexual performance.” Defendant has also represented, on the packaging of Staminol, that the product is “scientifically formulated to provide maximum potency.” The statements represented on the Staminol product packaging are “structure-function” claims which must be limited to a description of the role that a dietary ingredient is “intended to affect the structure or function in humans.” 21 U.S.C. § 343 (r)(6). In order for a dietary supplement manufacturer to make a structure-function claim, the manufacturer must have substantiation that such statements are truthful and not misleading.

According to the complaint, the Defendant does not have any credible, competent scientific evidence that substantiates its representations regarding the sexual health and performance benefits of consuming Staminol. In fact, even a cursory examination of reliable scientific evidence relating to Defendant’s representations strongly indicates that Staminol has no efficacy at all, is ineffective in the treatment of prostate related health issues, and provides no benefit relating to enhancing the sexual performance and vitality of its users. Multiple valid scientific studies have been conducted on the aforementioned primary ingredients in and these studies have revealed that the ingredients in question are not reliable means of treating health issues related to prostate functioning, or enhancing the sexual performance, vitality, and potency of its users.

The complaint also alleges GNC makes an unsubstantiated disease claim.  Federal regulations prohibit Defendant from making “disease claims” about s product. See 21 C.F.R. § 101.93. Disease claims are generally described as statements which claim to diagnose, mitigate, treat, cure or prevent disease where the statements claim “explicitly or implicitly, that the product…Has an effect on the characteristic signs or symptoms of a specific disease or class of diseases, using scientific or lay terminology.” Id. Defendant clearly makes such representations on the product label for Staminol, which directly relate to the treatment of health issues related to urinary flow and prostate health.

Defendant did not secure the requisite New Drug Application before marketing and selling Staminol. Accordingly, making these statements and representations without a New Drug Application (“NDA”) approval from the FDA constitutes misbranding and false and misleading conduct in violation of 21 C.F.R. § 101.93.

As a result of Defendant’s deceptive advertising and false representations regarding the efficacy of Staminol, Plaintiff and the proposed class have purchased a product which does not perform as represented and they have been harmed in the amount they paid for the product, which, in the Plaintiff’s case is approximately $19.99 bottle.

Plaintiff brings this action on behalf of himself and other similarly situated consumers who have purchased Defendant’s Staminol product to halt the dissemination of this false, misleading, and deceptive advertising message, correct the false and misleading perception it has created in the minds of consumers, and obtain redress for those who have purchased this product. Based on violations of state unfair competition laws and Defendant’s breach of express warranty, Plaintiff seeks injunctive and monetary relief for consumers who purchased Staminol.

Fluidmaster Inc. named in class action lawsuit over latent defect in “No Burst” Toilet Connectors

This action seeks to redress the latent defects in Fluidmaster’s “No Burst” Toilet Connectors with acetal coupling nuts (“Toilet Connector”). Fluidmaster claims to be a world leader in toilet repair and plumbing products. During the relevant period, Fluidmaster designed, manufactured, distributed, and sold flexible Toilet Connectors. To permit water flow into the toilet tank, a Toilet Connector connects the water fixture shut-off valve to the base of the toilet using a plastic coupling nut. These plastic coupling nuts are uniformly defective in their design and labeling. As a result, the Toilet Connector poses a substantial risk of failure by permitting the unrestricted flow of water into the home causing damage to property.

As alleged in the complaint, Fluidmaster knew about the defects with its Toilet Connectors and that they were prone to failure following routine installation. Fluidmaster also knew that as early as 2003, a mechanically and financially feasible, safer alternative design for the Toilet Connector that presented no adverse consequences to the product or to the consumer was available in the marketplace. Rather than replace these defective Toilet Connectors, the complaint alleges that Fluidmaster concealed and suppressed its knowledge of these defects, exposing Plaintiffs and the putative Classes to a substantial risk of significant property damage.

Fluidmaster remediated many of the design defects with its Toilet Connectors, including a wholesale change of the plastic material. Fluidmaster, however, never notified Plaintiffs and the members of the putative Classes that a remediated product was available. Instead, Fluidmaster left Plaintiffs and the putative Classes exposed to the risk of catastrophic water damage by the defective product, while it slipped its remediated Toilet Connectors into the market undetected.

This action seeks to both compensate those who have already suffered damages caused by the Toilet Connector and minimize any future damages by publicly disclosing the existence of the defects and establishing a protocol to remove them from properties.

 

Nissan named in class action lawsuit over defective transmissions

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This action arises from the sale or lease of more than one hundred thousand vehicles throughout the United States manufactured by Defendant Nissan that are equipped with defective transmissions. These defective transmissions were installed in all model year 2013 – 2014 Nissan Pathfinders sold or leased to consumers, including Plaintiff.

The defective transmission supplied in all of the affected vehicles is a continuously variable transmission (“CVT”) known as the “JATCO CVT8HT.” This CVT is defective in design, and as a result is prone to causing sudden, unexpected shaking and violent jerking (commonly referred to as “juddering” or “shuddering”) when a driver attempts to accelerate an affected vehicle. This pronounced juddering or shaking of the transmission prevents an affected vehicle from accelerating as intended by the driver, despite his or her input with the accelerator pedal. The combination of an affected vehicle’s transmission judder and its failure to accelerate according to driver input is associated with a “CVT belt slip condition” (the “defect”). This transmission defect creates an unreasonably dangerous situation and increases the risk of a crash; it is inevitable that an individual will be injured or killed due to a collision caused by this safety defect.

According to the complaint Nissan sold, leased, and continues to sell and lease the affected vehicle despite its awareness of the defect and the danger it poses to consumers and other drivers.

The class consists of All consumer residents in the United States who own, owned, lease, or leased a 2013 or 2014 Nissan Pathfinder.

Complaint: Nissan 12-18-14