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.

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

Weleda, Inc named in class action lawsuit for selling cosmetics as Natural despite containing synthetic ingredients

Defendant Weleda, Inc manufactures, sells, and distributes the Products using a marketing and advertising campaign centered around claims that appeal to health conscious consumers, i.e., that their Products are “Certified Natural” and/or “Natural”. However, Defendant’s advertising and marketing campaign is false, deceptive, and misleading because the Products contain synthetic ingredients.

Plaintiff and those similarly situated relied on Defendant’s misrepresentations that the Products are “Certified Natural” and/or “Natural” when purchasing the Products. Plaintiff and Class Members paid a premium for the Products in comparison to comparable products that did not purport to be “Certified Natural” and/or “Natural”. Given that Plaintiff and Class Members paid a premium for the Products based on Defendant’s misrepresentations that they are “Certified Natural” and/or “Natural”, Plaintiff and Class Members suffered an injury in the amount of the premium paid.

A full list of the products named in the lawsuit and the synthetic ingredients they contain can be found in the complaint. COMPLAINT

Bed Bath & Beyond named in a class action lawsuit over sale of Perfect Touch and Crowning Touch, bed linens

 

This case involves the marketing and sale of bed linens falsely labeled as “100% Egyptian Cotton” by retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc. (“BB&B”). For years, under the label Perfect Touch and Crowning Touch, BB&B sold bed linens, manufactured by Welspun India, Ltd. (“Welspun”), labeled as “100% Egyptian Cotton.” Egyptian cotton, due to its quality and scarcity, commands a premium in the market.

Welspun, a large home textile manufacturer based in India and with offices in the United States, manufactures and distributes bed linens and other home textiles to BB&B and other retailers. BB&B is Welspun’s largest customer.

In August 2016, BB&B’s competitor, Target announced that its investigation showed that Welspun uses inferior and less expensive cottons in many of its bed linens labeled “100% Egyptian Cotton.” Target ended its relationship with Welspun, and Welspun admitted, “Without any ambiguity, the fault is on our side.”

In response to Target’s announcement, BB&B ordered an external audit of textiles from Welspun but has continued to sell its products. Because of BB&B’s conduct, consumers who purchased Welspun bed linens at BB&B overpaid for an inferior product. This action seeks full recompense for consumers.

Complaint

Church & Dwight Co named in class action lawsuit for false made in the USA claims on Trojan condoms

 

According to the complaint, California law is clear: Merchandise may be labeled as “Made in the USA” if either: (1) all nondomestic parts constitute no more than 5% of the final wholesale value of the product; or (2) a manufacturer can show that a specific part could not be obtained within the U.S. and that part does not constitute more than 10% of the final wholesale value. Otherwise, a manufacturer may not label its products as “Made in U.S.A.,” “Made in America,” “U.S.A.,” or use similar words to convey that its products are made in the United States.

As alleged, Church & Dwight falsely advertises and markets at least two of its Trojan brand condoms, Magnum Thin Ultrasmooth and Magnum Ecstasy Ultrasmooth (collectively, the “Products”) as being “Made in U.S.A.” when, in fact, nondomestic parts comprising natural latex used in the Products constitute more than 10% of the Products’ final wholesale value.

Complaint

Church & Dwight Co., makers of Vitafusion B Complex Energy, Adult Vitamins, Gummies, named in class action lawsuit for false labeling

 

This is a consumer class action on behalf of purchasers of Vitafusion B Complex Energy, Adult Vitamins, Gummies, natural strawberry flavor (hereinafter “Vitafusion”). Unbeknownst to Plaintiff and members of the Classes, and contrary to the express representations made on its label, Vitafusion contains an excessive and potentially dangerous amount of the synthetic form of folate which, if known to Plaintiff and members of the Classes, would have caused Plaintiff and members of the Classes not to purchase or use Vitafusion.

Vitamins, including folate, play a crucial role in health. Recognizing the important role that folate plays in health, the Office of Dietary Supplements for the National Institutes of Health (hereinafter, “NIH”), recognizes the recommended daily allowance level for folate of 400 mcg. Similarly, because of the important role that folate plays in health, several foods are fortified with folic acid, the synthetic form of folate.

In recent years, consumers wishing to ensure that they obtain the proper amount of vitamins, such as folate, have increasingly turned to nutritional supplements.

Defendant warranted, advertised and sold Vitafusion throughout the United States, including in the State of Illinois and in this District as containing 400 mcg of folate, the recommended daily allowance cited by NIH. However, just as there is a recommended daily allowance for folate, NIH also recognizes an Upper Tolerable Intake Limit (“UL”) for the synthetic form of folate that is used in supplements and fortified foods. The UL for folic acid, synthetic folate, from dietary supplements and fortified foods for an adult is 1000 mcg. Exceeding the UL for folate can lead to nerve toxicity, blurry vision, nausea and vomiting, numbness, high blood sugar, skin lesions, liver toxicity, or liver damage.

According to the complaint, despite its extensive sales, and despite labeling Vitafusion as containing 400 mcg per gummy, Defendant does not ensure that Vitafusion actually contains the 400 mcg of folate listed on its label.

Instead, unbeknownst to Plaintiff and members of the Classes, Vitafusion actually contains 1232 mcg of synthetic folate (folic acid), an amount that exposes consumers of Vitafusion to the risks associated with excess intake of synthetic folate. This renders Vitafusion effectively worthless. Far from providing the NIH recommended amount of folate, Vitafusion instead exposed Plaintiff and members of the Classes to an unsafe level of folate.

Despite having knowledge that Vitafusion’s labeling is deceptive, misleading, and constitutes a fraud on consumers, Defendant continues to advertise, distribute, label, manufacture, market, and sell Vitafusion in a false, misleading, unfair, and/or deceptive manner, still claiming, falsely that Vitafusion contains a safe amount of synthetic folate, not the potentially dangerous amount it actually contains.

As a result of Defendant’s unlawful and deceptive conduct, Plaintiff and members of the Classes have been harmed, both by purchasing a product under false pretenses and by ingesting a product that increased their risk to various diseases.

 L’Oreal USA, Inc., makers of Matrix Biolage Keratindose Pro-Keratin + Silk Shampoo named in class action for false advertising

 

This is a nationwide class action brought by Plaintiffs on behalf of consumers who purchased Matrix Biolage Keratindose Pro-Keratin + Silk Shampoo, Pro-Keratin + Silk Conditioner, and/or Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray.

As alleged, keratin is a protein naturally present in human hair, skin and nails. It is made by cells called keratinocytes and consists of amino acids. Its primary function is to protect the cells in hair, skin and nails from damage or stress. Through its uniform, nationwide advertising campaign, including the name of the Keratindose Product line and the names of each Product, Defendants have led consumers to believe that their Keratindose Products actually contain keratin and will confer the claimed benefits of keratin to the consumer.

According to the complaint, the Keratindose Products do not contain any keratin at all and are incapable of providing the claimed benefits of keratin to the consumer.

 

Naming the Products “Keratindose” when they contain no keratin, and echoing that representation with additional statements on the Product labels and in a uniform advertising campaign, is unlawful. The Keratindose Products’ labels are 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 throughout the United States.

  1. Defendants’ misbranding is intentional, and renders the Products worthless or less valuable. If Defendants had disclosed to Plaintiffs and putative Class Members that their Keratindose Products do not contain any keratin at all, and that the Products do not provide the claimed benefits of keratin, Plaintiffs and putative Class Members would not have purchased the Products or they would have paid less for the Products.

As a result of Defendants’ misconduct and misrepresentations, Plaintiffs and putative Class Members have suffered injury in fact, including economic damages.

Complaint

White Wave, makers of Silk Almond Beverages, named in class action lawsuit over mislabeling of the beverage

Plaintiff brings this action on behalf of all persons in the United States who, at any time since four years prior to the filing of this complaint, purchased any Silk Almond milk beverage (“Silk Almond Beverages”) manufactured, marketed, distributed, and sold by WWF Operating Company, dba White Wave Services, Inc. (“WhiteWave” or “Defendant”).

This case arises out of the false, misleading, and deceptive marketing practices of Defendant’s Silk Almond milk products. Defendant has deceptively informed and led its customers to believe that they were purchasing, for a premium price, a dairy milk alternative that is nutritionally equivalent, and even superior, to dairy milk, as defined by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (the “FDA”).

As alleged, Silk Almond Beverages significantly lack many of the essential nutrients and vitamins provided in dairy milk, which Defendant fails to disclose to and actively conceals from consumers.

By calling its Silk Almond Beverages “milk”, a term historically used to define cow’s milk, Defendant has capitalized on reasonable consumers’ understanding of the well-known health benefits and essential nutrients that dairy milk provides without actually providing those health benefits and essential nutrients. Moreover, Defendant’s entire marketing strategy portrays its Silk Almond Beverages as nutritionally superior to dairy milk.

Defendant fails to label its Silk Almond Beverages as “imitation milk”, as required by the FDA, which requires products to be labeled “imitation” if there is any reduction in the content of essential nutrients present in a measurable amount in the standardized food for which the product is substituting. Thus, Silk Almond Beverages must be labeled “imitation milk” because they are, in fact, nutritionally inferior to dairy milk due to their reduction in the content of essential nutrients present in a measurable amount in dairy milk, as identified above and throughout this complaint.

Moreover, because Defendant utilizes the common or usual name of a food (i.e. “milk”) but fails to reveal the basic nature and characterizing ingredients of the Silk Almond Beverages, in accordance with 21 C.F.R. § 102.5(b), Defendant must label its Almond Beverages as “imitation milk”, as required by 21 C.F.R. § 101.3(e).

The Complaint alleges that the amount of essential vitamins and nutrients provided by dairy milk has a material bearing on price and consumer acceptance of products attempting to substitute dairy milk. WhiteWave has labeled its products to highlight its low calorie and fat content as compared to fat-free dairy milk and has been successful in capturing the market share previously attributed to dairy milk due to its omissions regarding the actual nutritional comparison of essential nutrients. By deceiving consumers about the nature, quality, and/or ingredients of its products, WhiteWave is able to command a premium price, increasing consumers’ willingness to pay and reduce the market share of competing products, thereby increasing its own sales and profits.

The complaint also alleges that Defendant’s deceptive labeling poses a serious health concern to consumers. In fact, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report found that in cases where people do not consume dairy, the levels of calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin A and riboflavin drop below the recommended intake, and intake levels of potassium, vitamin D and choline also drop substantially.

COMPLAINT

HP named in class action lawsuit for installing firmware that causes printers to fail when using non-HP brand ink cartridges

 

The complaint contends that HP intentionally installed firmware on certain wirelessly-enabled HP printers that caused the printers to fail when being used with non-HP brand ink cartridges.

The firmware operated to disable the printers if ink cartridges manufactured by an HP competitor were being used. In such cases, error messages appeared on the printer and/or the device sending the print job to the printer stating that the printer error was due to a damaged or failed ink cartridge. The error messages instructed the users to replace the non-HP ink cartridges with new cartridges. Only if the cartridges were replaced with ones manufactured by HP did the printers resume operation.

As alleged, HP intentionally installed this firmware in order to force consumers to purchase HP’s more expensive ink cartridges as opposed to the less expensive ink cartridges manufactured by its competitors. This scheme was intended to and did cause HP to profit in the form of ink cartridge sales and servicing charges.

HP misrepresented to Plaintiffs that the printers were compatible with non-HP ink cartridges. Plaintiffs were induced to purchase the printers and/or ink cartridges from Defendants based on these misrepresentations regarding the functionality and quality of the printers. Defendants also intentionally misrepresented that the printers failed because the ink cartridges being used were damaged or had failed.

Complaint