Stop & Shop named in class action over false advertising of homestyle mashed potatoes

 

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC was named in a class acton lawsuit over the advertising of its homestyle mashed potatoes. The front of the package states the labels state “Made with Real Milk & Butter.” In contrast, the ingredient deck on the back of the label shows the product contains margarine which the complaint contends is the opposite of real butter.

Butter and margarine have forever been rival food products unlike any other foods which have existed. Butter is the quintessential natural and simple food, produced by churning the cream at the top of a cow’s milk until the fat solidifies. Margarine, in contrast, is made through converting vegetable oils from liquid to solid through hydrogenation, fractionation and interesterification, in the presence of chemical and enzymatic catalysts.

Ultimately, as alleged, there is no expectation by a reasonable consumer that mashed potatoes would be consumed with butter and margarine – the front label declaration of butter is the de facto exclusion of margarine.

COMPLAINT

General Mills and Small Planet Foods named in class action for false advertising

This case concerns Defendants’ false and deceptive marketing and sale of Cascadian Farm brand frozen fruits and vegetables. Defendants’ identical misrepresentations mislead consumers into believing that all of their frozen fruit and vegetable products are grown on an organic farm in Skagit Valley, a small region in the state of Washington along the Skagit River in the Cascade mountains. In truth, Defendants’ frozen fruit and vegetables are not grown on a farm in the Cascades mountain range and/or in the Skagit Valley region. Rather, because Defendants are multinational agro-businesses, the fruit and vegetables used in their frozen products are sourced from all over the United States and the world.

COMPLAINT

That’s It Nutrition, LLC named in class action lawsuit alleging false advertising

 

That’s It Nutrition, LLC manufactures and sells snack food products under the brand “That’s it.” The Products consist of (1) fruit bars, (2) fruit bars with added spicy ingredients, (3) chocolate-covered fruit pieces (4) vegetable bars. The products labeling claim: “No Purees or Juices,” “No Sulfur or Sulfites,” “No Sugar Added,” “No Preservatives,” the “2 ingredient snack,” “Just Fruit” and “Fruit is all we use.” According to the complaint, the labeling conveys that the defendant was responsible for taking the whole intact fruit, washing it, dicing or chopping it, then mashing it together to form the final bar, so that the product can credibly attest that it contains ingredients identified by a collective name.

 

As alleged, by listing ingredients with a collective name, a reasonable consumer gets the impression that the raw material existed in its whole, intact form, which means the products are necessarily fresher because its component ingredients were not made years ago and sat on a warehouse shelf until the time they were used in the products. It is misleading, however, to list ingredients with a collective name because consumers are unable to distinguish the value, quality and nature of the actual ingredients prior to purchase.

 

The complaint claims the labeling is misleading because That’s It does not convert whole, intact fruits or vegetables into the final product. Rather, the Products contain ingredients which have already been subjected to various levels of processing and transformation such that designating them by their collective name is misleading.  The Complaint contends that rather than containing fruit, the bars are made from a highly processed fruit powder.

Starkist Co named in class action lawsuit over misleading consuming public over healthfulness of tuna

 

StarKist is one of the largest producers of seafood products in the United States. As alleged, StarKist’s products contain a mislabeling representations that causes consumers to falsely believe that StarKist products are healthier than products made by other food manufacturers. Specifically, StarKist prominently displays the American Heart Association

“Heart-Check Mark” on products. The complaint contends that reasonable consumers see the Heart-Check Mark and would mistakenly believe that a product with a Heart-Check Mark is healthier than a product without a Heart-Check Mark. In truth, however, the Heart-Check Mark is nothing more than a paid endorsement which Starkist fails to inform the consuming public.

COMPLAINT

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

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