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.

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

Monini named in class action lawsuit over misbranding of its Truffle Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oils

 

This is a class action against Defendant Monini North America, Inc. for its unlawful, misleading, and deceptive misbranding of its Monini White Truffle Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil (“Monini White Truffle Oil”) and Monini Black Truffle Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil (“Monini Black Truffle Oil”) (collectively, the “Products” or “Monini Truffle Oil”) sold to consumers. Monini markets its truffle oil as being flavored by actual “White truffle[s]” or “Black Truffle[s],” respectively. But Monini Truffle Oil is nothing of the sort; instead of flavoring its oil with actual “White Truffle[s],” or “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 “White Truffle” or “Black Truffle,” Monini Truffle Oil is sold at a substantial price premium over olive oil not flavored with real truffles.

The complaint alleges that 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.

As further alleged, Monini’s misbranding is intentional. The front label and packaging of Monini White Truffle Oil represents in extra-large lettering that the product is flavored by “White Truffle.” Directly underneath this “White Truffle” representation is an oversized image of a sliced open white truffle. Similarly, the front label and packaging of Monini Black Truffle Oil represents in extra-large lettering that the product is flavored by “Black Truffle.” Directly underneath this “Black Truffle” representation is an oversized image of sliced open black truffles.

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

Complaint

Trump University settles class action lawsuit alleging it defrauded students

 

The parties have reached a $25 million settlement on behalf of former Trump University students to resolve a number of class actions and an action by the New York Attorney General. To get a payment, you must submit a claim form by March 6th.

The lawsuits generally  allege that “Trump University” and Trump violated federal law across the country and state law (in California, Florida and New York) by promising, but not delivering access to Trump’s real estate techniques taught by “hand-picked” professors at an elite “university,” when in fact Trump was not substantively involved in the Live Events curriculum or selecting the instructors and the New York State Education Department had warned Trump it was unlawful to call it a “university.”

You must submit a claim form on or before March 6, 2017 to get a payment from the settlement.

Visit the settlement website for more details: http://www.trumpuniversitylitigation.com/Home/Documents

Gerber named in class action lawsuit over false and captive advertising of its Good Start baby product

The complaint alleges a pattern of deceptive and unfair business practices by Gerber Products Company in the marketing and sale of Good Start, a line of infant formula made with whey-protein concentrate that Defendant produces, distributes, markets, and sells.

The Complaint challenging deceptive and misleading representations that Defendant made in promoting and selling Good Start. Beginning in 2011, Defendant has claimed in advertising and product labeling that: (a) Good Start is the first and only formula whose consumption reduces the risk of infants developing allergies, and (b) Good Start is the first and only formula that the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) endorses to reduce the risk of developing certain allergies, such as atopic dermatitis.

Due to Defendant’s deceptive representations that Good Start provided health benefits beyond the benefits other baby formulas offered, and Defendant’s misleading representations that the FDA had unqualifiedly certified its health claims, Plaintiff and the Class were injured by purchasing Good Start at an inflated cost.

The Procter & Gamble Company named in class action over deceptively advertising pampers as clear and natural

Pampers

Procter & Gamble prominently labels, markets and advertises its Pampers baby wipes (“Pampers Wipes” or the “Product”) as “natural.” This claim is false, deceptive and likely to mislead a reasonable person because Pampers Wipes contains chemicals that are synthetic, not natural. These chemicals can also cause skin irritation and other problems. Parents seeking natural products for their babies are not receiving the product promised them, but instead are purchasing a mis-branded product containing synthetic chemicals. These chemicals include dimethicone, phenoxyethanol, and ethyhexyl glycerin.

Proctor & Ganmble 7-14-16

Playtex named in class action lawsuit over mispresenting SPF of Banana Boat Kids SPF 50 sunscreen

banana-boat

 

This is a proposed class action, brought on behalf of all those who purchased Banana Boat Kids SPF 50 in the United States between June 27, 2010 and the present.

As alleged in the complaint, Banana Boat Kids SPF 50 purports, in both the product name and in several prominent places on the product label, to have an “SPE” of 50, the maximum amount of SPF protection which the law allows a sunscreen product to claim.

SPF, which stands for “Sun Protection Factor, is an objectively verifiable and scientifically measurable level of sunburn protection provided by a sunscreen. The higher the SPF, the more UV radiation is filtered out and the more protection is provided.

The complaint claims that despite the inclusion of the words “SPF 50” in the name of the product itself, and despite the fact that the uniformly-worded product label states in several places that the product has an “SPF 50, rigorous scientific testing has revealed that Banana Boat Kids SPF 50 has an actual SPF of only 8.; a significantly lower level of sunscreen protection.

Ralph Lauren named in class action lawsuit over false advertisement of market prices, and phantom “savings,” on clothing sold in its retail outlet stores

ralph-lauren

 

The class action lawsuit accuses Ralph Lauren of false and misleading advertisement of “market” prices, and corresponding phantom “savings,” on clothing and fashion apparel sold in its retail outlet stores.

The complaint alleges that defendants continually misled consumers by advertising clothing and fashion apparel at discounted, “savings” prices. Defendants would compare the “sale” prices to false “market” prices, which were misrepresented as the “market” retail prices from which the “savings” was discounted. The advertised discounts were nothing more than mere phantom mark-downs because the represented market prices were artificially inflated and were not the original or “market” prices for clothing and fashion apparel sold at Defendants’ retail outlet stores. In addition, the represented “market” prices were not the prevailing marketing retail prices within three months next immediately preceding the publication of the advertised former prices, as required by California law.

As further alleged, Ralph Lauren would disseminate their deceptive pricing scheme to consumers through promotional materials, in-store displays, and print advertisements. For example, in Defendants’ retail outlet stores, the pricing scheme is prominently displayed, advertising deep discounts, including “40% off” various items throughout the store.

In truth, the purported “market prices” never existed and/or did not constitute the prevailing market retail prices for such products within the three months immediately preceding the publication of the sales tag. The difference between the “sale” and “regular” prices is a false savings percentage used to lure consumers into purchasing products they believe are significantly discounted.

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

FTC

 

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.

The FTC on Super (un)natural product claims

In a recent post by Seena Gressin, Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, we get a glimpse of the FTC’s view of “natural”

For lovers of word-association games: what words leap to mind when you think of “all natural” ingredients?

Did you pick “Dimethicone,” “Phenoxyethanol,” or “Polyethylene”? Perhaps “Butyloctyl alicylate,” “Polyquaternium-37,” or “Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate”? No? Well, not to worry — you haven’t lost the game. But five companies that tagged products that contained one or more of these ingredients as “all natural” or “100% natural” are now rethinking their strategy.

The FTC alleged the companies misrepresented their personal care products — including sunscreens, moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, and shower gels — by describing them as “all natural” or “100% natural” when they contained one or more synthetic ingredients.

According to the FTC, the claims showed up in product names, such as “All Natural Hand and Body Lotion,” sold under the trade name ShiKai by Trans-India Products, Inc., of Santa Rosa, Calif., and “Coconut Shea All Natural Styling Elixir,” sold under the trade name EDEN BodyWorks by ABS Consumer Products, LLC, of Memphis, Tenn.

The FTC said the claims also showed up in product ads. For example, The Erickson Marketing Group Inc., of Arvada, Colo., which uses the trade name Rocky Mountain Sunscreen, and California Naturel, Inc., of Sausalito, Calif., both advertised their sunscreens as “all natural,” while Beyond Coastal, of Salt Lake City, touted its sunscreen as “100% natural.”

Four of the companies have agreed to proposed orders that would prohibit them from claiming that any product is 100% natural unless they have reliable evidence to back up the claim. The orders also would require them to have proof for any claims they make about the products’ environmental or health benefits. The Commission issued a complaint against the fifth company, California Naturel, seeking the same relief.

How can you avoid being burned by misleading “all natural” claims for sunscreen and other products? Take the claims with a non-synthetic grain of salt, check out the ingredients list on the package, and please visit our website for information about shopping for products that claim to have health or beauty benefits.

 

According to the FTC, each of the following companies made the all-natural claim in online ads:

  • Trans-India Products, Inc., doing business as ShiKai, based in Santa Rosa, California, markets “All Natural Hand and Body Lotion” and “All Natural Moisturizing Gel” both directly and through third-party websites including walgreens.com and vitacoast.com. The lotion contains Dimethicone, Ethyhexyl Glycerin, and Phenoxyethanol. The gel contains Phenoxyethanol.
  • Erickson Marketing Group, doing business as Rocky Mountain Sunscreen, based in Aravada, Colorado, uses its website to promote “all natural” products such as the “Natural Face Stick,” which contains Dimethicone, Polyethylene, and other synthetic ingredients.
  • ABS Consumer Products, LLC, doing business as EDEN BodyWorks, based in Memphis, Tennessee, markets haircare products on its own websites and at Walmart.com. It makes “all natural” claims for products including “Coconut Shea All Natural Styling Elixer” and “Jojoba Monoi All Natural Shampoo.” In reality, the products contain a range of synthetic ingredients such as Polyquaternium-37, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, and Polyquaternium-7.
  • Beyond Coastal, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, uses its website to sell its “Natural Sunscreen SPF 30,” describing it as “100% natural.” However, it also contains Dimethicone.
  • California Naturel, Inc., located in Sausalito, California, sells supposedly “all natural sunscreen” on its website, though the product contains Dimethicone. The Commission has issued a complaint alleging that California Naturel has made deceptive “all natural” claims in violation of Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act.

The proposed consent orders bar the four settling respondents from misrepresenting the following when advertising, promoting, or selling a product: 1) whether the product is all natural or 100 percent natural; 2) the extent to which the product contains any natural or synthetic components; 3) the ingredients or composition of a product; and 4) the environmental or health benefits of a product.

The orders require the respondents to have and rely on competent and reliable evidence to support any product claims they make. Some claims require scientific evidence, which is defined as tests, analyses, research, or studies that have been conducted and evaluated objectively by qualified individuals using procedures generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.

More information can be found at the FTC website. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/super-unnatural-product-claims?utm_source=govdelivery

Do you use a product that claims to be all natural, but isn’t? Share with your fellow readers or contact us to take action.