PepsiCo settles class action lawsuit over deceptive labeling of Naked Juice

This lawsuit claims that Naked Juice violated certain state and federal laws and consumer protection statutes in connection with the advertising, labeling, or marketing of its Products as “100% Juice,” “100% Fruit,” “From Concentrate,” “All Natural,” “All Natural Fruit,” “All Natural Fruit + Boosts,” or “Non-GMO” (or Non-Genetically Modified Organism).  The lawsuit claims that the Eligible Products (see below) contain ingredients that are not “All Natural” and contain GMOs (or Genetically Modified Organisms).

If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, it will provide benefits to Class Members. Naked Juice will pay $9,000,000 to a Settlement Fund to make payments to Class Members who file valid claims by submitting a Claim Form at www.NakedJuiceClass.com.

Class members are entitled to make claims up to $45.00 without proof of purchase.

 

The products include:

• AÇAÍ MACHINE (formerly known as PURPLE MACHINE and RAIN FOREST AÇAÍ)

• APPLE

• APPLE CRANBERRY

• BERRY BLAST (formerly known as BERRY BLAST WELL BEING)

• BERRY PROBIOTIC

• BERRY VEGGIE (formerly known as BERRY VEGGIE MACHINE)

• BLACK AND BLUEBERRY (formerly known as BLACK AND BLUEBERRY RUSH)

• BLUE MACHINE

• CARROT

• CHAI SPICED CIDER

• CHERRY POMEGRANATE (formerly known as CHERRY POMEGRANATE POWER)

• CITRUS LEMONGRASS (REDUCED CALORIE) (formerly known as CITRUS LEMONGRASS)

• GOLD MACHINE

• GREEN MACHINE

• LYCHEE (REDUCED CALORIE)

• MANGO VEGGIE

• MIGHTY MANGO (formerly known as MIGHTY MANGO WELL BEING)

• O-J

• ORANGE CARROT

• ORANGE MANGO (formerly known as ORANGE MANGO MOTION)

• ORGANIC CARROT

• PEACH GUAVA (REDUCED CALORIE)

• PEACH MANGOSTEEN (formerly known as PEACH MANGOSTEEN BLISS)

• POMEGRANATE (formerly known as PLENTIFUL POMEGRANATE)

• POMEGRANATE AÇAÍ

• POMEGRANATE BLUEBERRY

• POWER-C MACHINE (formerly known as POWER-C)

• PROBIOTIC TROPICAL MANGO

• PROTEIN ZONE

• PROTEIN ZONE BANANA CHOCOLATE

• PROTEIN ZONE DOUBLE BERRY

• PROTEIN ZONE MANGO

• RAZALICIOUS

• RED MACHINE

• STRAWBERRY BANANA (formerly known as STRAWBERRY BANANA C and STRAWBERRY

BANANA WELL BEING)

• STRAWBERRY KIWI (formerly known as STRAWBERRY KIWI KICK)

• TANGERINE SCREAM

• TROPICAL (REDUCED CALORIE) (formerly known as TROPICAL C and TROPICAL)

• WATERMELON CHILL

Campbell Soup Company and the American Heart Association named in class action over improper use of Heart-Check Mark

The AHA claims that its mission is “to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. That single purpose drives all we do.” This worthy mission is, in truth, tainted by what the AHA does not tell the public: that for a fee, the AHA will allow manufacturers of unhealthy, processed foods – including over thirty varieties of Campbell’s canned soups – to place the AHA’s certification and endorsement on products that run directly counter to the AHA’s stated mission.

As alleged, the AHA’s nationally recognized “Heart-Check Mark” certification thus fools consumers by misrepresenting that products bearing the Heart-Check Mark certification meet the AHA’s heart-healthy nutritional guidelines. That misrepresentation (or omission of the true facts) is unfair, deceptive, and misleading, because the AHA’s Heart-Check Mark certification does not signify adherence to those guidelines.

As alleged herein, the AHA, for a fee, abandons its general, non-commercial dietary and nutritional guidelines – which categorically rule out unhealthy processed products, including Campbell’s soups, as demonstrated below – and agrees to certify as heart-healthy products that merely meet the minimum criteria for certain FDA-regulated health claims, rather than the AHA’s own more demanding standards. This deceptive practice not only causes consumers to overpay for Campbell’s AHA-certified soups, but also presents substantial health risks to all consumers, including the more than five million American consumers suffering from congestive heart failure.

The AHA’s Heart-Check Mark certification scheme runs directly counter to its non-commercial nutritional guidance. Instead of aiding the consuming public, the AHA’s certification scheme confuses and misleads the consuming public, because it employs standards that have nothing to do with the AHA’s general nutritional guidelines.

As a result, the AHA certifies products that are far less healthy, and far less heart healthy, than it otherwise advises consumers to eat. A single serving of Campbell’s AHA certified soups contains nearly three times the amount of sodium permitted by the AHA’s noncommercial nutritional guidelines, while a full can contains between six and seven times that amount.

As stated in the complaint, the case is not only about AHA’s willingness to mislead consumers for a fee; it is also about the manufacturers who are willing to pay that fee, and funnel other monies to the AHA, in furtherance of schemes to prey upon consumer demand for products that are legitimately healthy.

By the AHA selling, and Campbell’s buying, the right to affix the AHA’s seal of approval to its products, they falsely represent to the public that AHA-certified products manufactured by Campbell’s possess some cardiovascular benefit not enjoyed by products that have not been certified by the AHA. In truth, however, the only difference between AHA certified Campbell’s products and non-certified competing products is that Campbell’s has paid money to the AHA to license its logo.

The AHA benefits from the monies paid to it by food manufacturers and the advertising and organizational name recognition that come from having its logo placed on millions of food containers. Campbell’s benefits by being able to affix the AHA’s Heart-Check Mark logo on the products for which it has paid for it and is able to enjoy increased sales and higher profits due to their premium pricing and perceived health advantage. These benefits to Campbell’s and AHA, however, come at the substantial cost to Plaintiff and the other Class members, both in the form of purchasing falsely labeled products based on Defendants “heart healthy” pretext, and materially overpaying for those products.

 

The complaint is brought on behalf of all individuals in the United States who purchased any Campbell’s “Healthy Request” soup bearing an AHA Heart-Check Mark symbol on its label.

Conair sued over defect in Infiniti Pro 1875 hair dryer

Conair is one of the world’s largest privately held health and beauty companies and has been around for more than 50 years. It develops, designs, manufactures and sells health and beauty products nationwide through direct website sales and through nationwide retailers such as Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Target and CVS Pharmacies. Conair holds the number one position in the industry with hair dryers.

The Conair Infiniti Pro 1875 Watt hair dryer is marketed by Conair as being quiet and fast drying attributed to its powerful AC motor which Conair claims lasts three times longer than DC motor hair dryers. Conair expressly states in its advertising materials and packaging that it “Guarantees up to 3x longer life”. Conair is so confident in this claim, it provides a four-year limited warranty with the Hair Conair warrants the Infiniti Pro hair dryer against defect in material or workmanship for four years from the date of purchase. In numerous cases the Hair Dryer caught fire and ceased working within one to two years of purchase.

Plaintiff’s Hair Dryer caught fire and ceased to work 10 months after purchase. In August 2012 while using the Hair Dryer to dry her hair, the Hair Dryer sputtered and began emitting from the Hair Dryer. This sudden fire so close to her head caused Plaintiff to drop the dryer to the ground where it ignited her carpet. The Hair Dryer continued to run despite the fact it was plugged into a GFCI outlet. The Hair Dryer is also equipped with two different types of “safety plugs” one of which is the ALCI or Appliance Leakage Current Interrupter. The ALCI is designed to recognize a change in the electrical current. This “safety” feature did not prevent the Hair Dryer from bursting into flames. Plaintiff immediately unplugged the Hair Dryer and put out the flames on her carpet which was permanently scorched by the event.

The defect typically occurs within the first year or so of use. The defect’s presence is material because the defect causes the Hair Dryer to catch fire, exposing consumers to potential serious injury. The defect is material because neither Plaintiff nor a reasonable consumer would have purchased the defective Hair Dryer had they been aware of its propensity to catch fire during normal use and even when it is plugged in but not in use.

From at least 2009 to as recent as May 2013, consumers nationwide have posted complaints of the same problem with this Hair Dryer on consumer websites, including but not limited to, consumeraffairs.com. Consumers consistently reported the Hair Dryer sparking and catching fire during normal use and sometimes even when the Hair Dryer was turned off. The complaints also reflect early and continued manifestation of the defect and Conair’s refusal to recall the product or even to publicly warn consumers of the danger.

The complaint is brought on behalf of a class consisting of all “consumers” residing in the United States who purchased, not for resale, a Conair Infiniti Pro 1875 watt Salon Performance hair dryer (“Hair Dryer”) at any time in the four years preceding the filing of this action

Walgreens named in class action lawsuit over false advertisement of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements

According to the complaint, Walgreens sells a line of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements with the false promise and deceptive warranty that its products “rebuild cartilage.” As Walgreens is fully aware, however, it is physically and biologically impossible to “rebuild” cartilage that has been lost or damaged. Walgreens sells its products by taking advantage of consumers’ reasonable but unattainable desire to reverse the damage done to their cartilage.  The complaint references a number of studies which find that glucosamine was no more effective than a placebo in treating the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of all consumers in Pennsylvania that purchased a Walgreens glucosamine and chondroitin supplement from October 2006 to the present that were sold with a label promising that the product would “rebuild cartilage.”

Toyota recalls 2005-2010 Tacoma Access Cab vehicles over seat belt safety issues

Toyota is recalling certain model year 2005-2010 Tacoma Access Cab vehicles manufactured September 14, 2004, through March 29, 2010; and model year 2011 Tacoma Access Cab vehicles manufactured July 1, 2010, through September 7, 2011. If the access doors are repeatedly and forcefully closed, the screws that attach the seat belt pre-tensioner to the seat belt retractor can loosen over time. If the screws loosen completely, the seat belt pre-tensioner and the retractor spring cover could detach from the seat belt retractor.

If the seat belt pre-tensioner detaches from the seat belt assembly, the seat belt pre-tensioner will not perform as designed, increasing the risk of injury in a severe crash.

Toyota will notify owners and will inspect the seat belt assemblies. Based on the inspection, the seat belt assembly will be replaced or new pre-tensioner screws will be installed with thread-locking sealant and a retractor spring cover with stopper ribs to prevent loosening of the screws. These services will be provided at no cost to the owner.

Flagstar Bancorp Inc. settles ERISA class action lawsuit

A federal judge in Michigan on July 29 granted preliminary approval to a $3 million settlement of claims by Flagstar Bancorp Inc. 401(k) plan participants that the plan fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by offering company stock as an investment option.  The class consists of plan participants who had portions of their plan accounts invested in Flagstar common stock or fund units in the Flagstar Stock Fund between Dec. 31, 2006, and May 2, 2013.  The settlement class is estimated at 2,893 participants

The lawsuit alleged that Flagstar Bancorp Inc. and certain of its officials breached their fiduciary duties by offering Flagstar stock as an investment option to plan participants at a time when it was imprudent to do so and by concealing the risk of investing in Flagstar stock.

“The complaint refers to at least ten statements by Flagstar announcing losses or declining profits, at least three announcing a reduction or suspension of dividend payments and one announcing that Flagstar would be shrinking its mortgage loan origination business. The complaint also refers to at least ten negative reports offered by analysts or published by the financial media. Those reports include, among other matters: a January 2008 report from Moody’s Investors Service indicating ‘that continued losses would likely lead [Flagstar’s] rating to junk status’; an October 2008 determination by Merrill Lynch to lower Flagstar’s rating from ‘Buy’ to ‘Underperform’; a November 2008 Morningstar Financial article reporting concerns with ‘Flagstar’s business and finances’; and an article in late 2009 or early 2010 that described Flagstar as ‘a black hole.’ As late as August 2009, the complaint alleges, Flagstar was known to have a rate of non-performing loans that was more than double the five percent rate considered ‘unsafe and unsound,'” the court said.

Barbara’s Bakery settles class action lawsuit over mislabeling of products

 

A Settlement was reached in a class action naming Barbara’s Bakery over the marketing and sale of certain of its products. The Settlement is on behalf of consumers who bought Barbara’s Bakery Cereals, Cereal Bars, Cheese Puffs, Crackers Fig Bars, Granola Bars Organic Mini Cookies, Snack Mixes, Snackimals Animal Cookies products from May 23, 2008 to July 5, 2013.

Barbara’s Bakery will pay $4 million into a Settlement Fund to pay: (1) money to eligible consumers, (2) notice and administration costs, (3) attorneys’ fees and costs, and (4) a special service payment to the Class Representative.  Barbara’s Bakery has also agreed to change some of its business practices, including modifying its product labels and advertising and certain manufacturing practices.  Any money remaining in the Settlement Fund after all claims are paid will be donated to charities and non-profit organizations.  Additional details are in the Settlement Agreement available on the website. www.BarbarasBakerySettlement.com

Court certifies class action lawsuit against Bear Naked and Kashi over products falsely advertised as “all natural” and “nothing artificial”

The actions were original brought on behalf of nationwide Classes of persons who purchased Kashi  and Bear Naked food products containing synthetic and/or artificial ingredients, including but not limited to one or more of the following: Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Calcium Phosphates, Glycerin, Hexane-Processed Soy Ingredients, Potassium Bicarbonate, Potassium Carbonate (a/k/a Cocoa processed with Alkali), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Phosphates, Tocopherols, and Xanthan Gum.

Since at least 2007, Defendants have packaged, marketed, distributed and sold food products as being “All Natural” or “Nothing Artificial,” despite the fact the food products contain between one (1) and seven (7) of the aforementioned ingredients

After law and motion work, the Court certified the following classes:

All California residents who purchased Kashi Company’s food products on or after August 24, 2007 in the State of California that were labeled “Nothing Artificial” but which contained one or more of the following ingredients: Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Alpha-Tocopherol Acetate and/or Hexane-Processed Soy ingredients.

California “All Natural” Class: All California residents who purchased Kashi Company’s food products on or after August 24, 2007 in the State of California that were labeled “All Natural” but which contained one or more of the following ingredients: Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate and/or Hexane-Processed Soy ingredients.

All California residents who purchased Bear Naked, Inc.’s food products on or after September 21, 2007 in the State of California that were labeled “100% Pure & Natural” or “100% Natural” but which contained Hexane- Processed Soy Ingredients. The Court excludes from the class anyone with a conflict of interest in this matter.

The Kashi/Bear Naked products include the following:

Kashi “All Natural” Class

Grain Waffles:

Berry Blossoms Cereal.

Blueberry Waffles

Caribbean Carnival Stone-Fired Thin Crust Pizza

Chicken Florentine Entrée

Chicken Pasta Pomodoro Entré

Cocoa Beach Granol

GOLEAN® Blueberry Waffles

GOLEAN® Chewy Chocolate Almond Toffee Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Chewy Cookies ‘N Cream Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Chewy Malted Chocolate Crisp Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Chewy Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Chocolate Malted Crisp Protein & Fiber Bars: Glycerin

GOLEAN® Chocolate Shake

GOLEAN® Creamy Instant Hot Cereal Truly Vanilla

GOLEAN® Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble Cereal

GOLEAN® Crunch! Honey Almond Flax Cereal

GOLEAN® Crunchy! Chocolate Almond Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Crunchy! Chocolate Caramel Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Crunchy! Chocolate Peanut Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Crunchy! Chocolate Pretzel Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Crunchy! Cinnamon Coffee Cake Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Hearty Instant Hot Cereal with Clusters Honey & Cinnamon

GOLEAN® Oatmeal Raisin Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Original 7 Grain Waffles

GOLEAN® Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Roll! Caramel Peanut Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Roll! Chocolate Peanut Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Roll! Chocolate Turtle Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Roll! Fudge Sundae Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Roll! Oatmeal Walnut Protein & Fiber Bars

GOLEAN® Strawberry Flax Waffles

GOLEAN® Vanilla Shake Mix

Honey Sunshine Cereal

Lemongrass Coconut Chicken Entrée

Mayan Harvest Bake Entrée

Mountain Medley Granola

Pesto Pasta Primavera Entrée

Southwest Style Chicken Entrée

Spicy Black Bean Enchilada Entrée

Summer Berry Granola

TLC Baked Apple Spice Soft-Baked Cereal Bars

TLC Blackberry Graham Soft-Baked Cereal Bars

TLC Cherry Dark Chocolate Chewy Granola Bars

TLC Cherry Vanilla Soft-Baked Cereal Bars

TLC Country Cheddar Cheese Crackers

TLC Cranberry Walnut Fruit & Grain Bars

TLC Dark Chocolate Coconut Fruit & Grain Bars

Dark Chocolate Coconut Layered Granola Bar

TLC Dark Mocha Almond Chewy Granola Bars

TLC Happy Trail Mix Chewy Cookies

TLC Honey Almond Flax Chewy Granola Bars

TLC Honey Sesame Snack Crackers

TLC Honey Toasted 7 Grain Crunchy Granola Bars

TLC Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chewy Cookies

TLC Oatmeal Raisin Flax Chewy Cookies

TLC Original 7 Grain With Sea Salt Pita Crisps

TLC Peanut Peanut Butter Chewy Granola Bars

TLC Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Granola Bars

TLC Pumpkin Pecan Fruit & Grain Bars

TLC Pumpkin Pecan Layered Granola Bars

TLC Pumpkin Pie Fruit & Grain Bars

TLC Pumpkin Spice Flax Crunchy Granola Bars

TLC Raspberry Chocolate Fruit & Grain Bars

TLC Ripe Strawberry Soft-Baked Cereal Bars

TLC Roasted Almond Crunch Crunchy Granola Bars

TLC Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars

TLC Zesty Salsa Pita Crisps

Tuscan Veggie Bake Entrée

 

Kashi Nothing Artificial Class

Heart to Heart Honey Oat Waffles

Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal

Heart to Heart Instant Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon

Heart to Heart Instant Oatmeal Golden Maple

Heart to Heart Instant Oatmeal Raisin Spice

Heart to Heart Oat Flakes & Blueberry Clusters Cereal

Heart to Heart Oat Flakes & Wild Blueberry Clusters Cereal

Heart to Heart Roasted Garlic Whole Grain Crackers

Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat Cereal

Heart to Heart Original Whole Grain Crackers

 

Bear Naked All Natural Class

Bear Naked Heavenly Chocolate Granola:

Bear Naked Peak Protein Original Granola:

Bear Naked Peak Energy Cranberry Almond Trail Mix:

Bear Naked Peak Energy Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix:

Bear Naked Soft-Baked Fruit & Nut Granola Cookies

Bear Naked Soft-Baked Double Chocolate Granola Cookie:

 

The certification was on behalf of a California class leaving consumers in other states unaffected by the ruling.  If you are a non-California resident that purchased one of the above items and would like to know more about your legal rights in this matter, please contact us directly using the inquiry box below.

PayDay Financial, LLC named in class action over usurious interest rates

This is a Class Action Complaint brought to obtain declaratory, injunctive and monetary relief on behalf of a class of individuals who responded to advertisements made by a group of affiliated South Dakota business entities offering consumer loans via the Internet. The lenders conspired to charge illegal interest rates and defraud consumers by stating that the lenders and collectors are exempt from United States laws because of an affiliation with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (“Tribe”). The loans had a minimum annual percentage rate (APR) of 89.68 o/o-ten times the legal limit-and up to 342.86 %. The usurious nature of the interest rates renders them void; similarly, the deceptive and misleading nature of the groups’ marketing materials and loan documents violate state consumer protection laws.

The Lending Defendants, PayDay Financial, LLC and Western Sky, LLP, marketed fast, accessible, low-barrier loans to Plaintiffs and members of the class; in doing so, they preyed upon individuals who needed access to money as quickly as possible in order to meet their most basic human needs. The Lending Defendants took advantage of the weak and necessitous position of their target consumers by charging astonishingly high interest rates knowing that people will do whatever it takes to provide food for their family or keep their home out of foreclosure–even if the measure would only last a short time. The Lending Defendants provided the proverbial “desperate measure” for the desperate times in which Plaintiffs and members of the class found themselves. Loan fees and interest rates were lower, but still usurious, for higher dollar amount loans thus incentivizing borrowers to take more money than they needed.

As alleged, the Lending Defendants know that their interest rates are usurious so they developed what they, upon information and belief, believe is a “legal loop hole”-requiring Plaintiff and members of the class to agree to an exculpatory clause that purportedly extinguishes any right the consumer has to apply United States law to the relationship. The loan agreements state that only the Tribe’s law will apply to the relationship between consumers and the Lending Defendants and the consumer may not sue in any court of the United States or any state. But the loan agreement has nothing to do with Tribal law. The Lending Defendants are South Dakota limited liability companies marketing and providing services to consumers throughout the United States using web servers located in the State of California.

As claimed, the Lending Defendants cannot avoid the courts and laws of South Dakota, Minnesota, Virginia, or Texas–or the courts and laws of any other state or the United States by the mere fact that its controlling owner is a member of an American Indian tribe. Employees are mostly tribal members and their primary place of business is on tribal land. Similarly, Defendants cannot contract away their duty to follow the laws of each and every state in which they do business. This lawsuit seeks to end the Lending Defendants’ illegal scheme to skirt the law and make consumers whole by returning Defendants’ ill-gotten profits to consumers they have harmed.

JPMorgan Chase named in class action lawsuit over interest charges on credit cards

This is a class action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPMC”), and Chase Bank USA, N.A. (“CBUSA”) (collectively, “Chase” or “Defendants”) for charging their credit card account holders “interest” on their own positive credit balances, in breach of Chase’s Cardmember Agreement.

Chase’s Cardmember Agreement governs the relationship between Chase and their credit card account holders. The Cardmember Agreement contains a paragraph about Credit Balances which reads, “You may request a refund of any credit balance at any time. Otherwise, we will apply it to any new charges on your Account or provide the refund to you as required by law.” Nothing in the Cardmember Agreement discloses the existence of any fees or charges to the account holder relating to a positive credit balance.

On July 30, 2012, Plaintiff Epstein overpaid his Chase Marriott Rewards credit card bill by $0.67, thereby creating a positive credit balance. The credit balance remained on Plaintiff’s account until January 7, 2013, when Chase charged a $0.67 “interest” charge associated with the positive credit balance on Plaintiff Epstein’s account.

According to the complaint, Chase breached the Credit Balances provision of their Cardmember Agreement by simply taking the credit balance on Plaintiff Epstein’s credit card account. Chase had no right to take Plaintiff’s money.

As of December 31, 2011, Chase had over 65 million credit card account holders, and it has assessed credit balance “interest” charges to millions of their credit card customers.

Plaintiff Epstein asserts claims on behalf of himself, a nationwide class of millions of Chase credit card account holders, and a subclass of Chase credit card account holders in California for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, conversion, unjust enrichment, violation of the Delaware Consumer Fraud Act, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud, and as to the Subclass only, violation of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”).

Complaint: Chase 7-15-13