Advocating for safety and integrity in consumer goods
Consumers are bombarded with messages to purchase items every day—sometimes by creative ad campaigns, or eye-catching packaging claiming benefits the product is supposed to bring—or the promise of a unique, extra feature or extra service or warranty. When products feature or highlight misleading or false information, whether on the label, packaging, website, commercial, or by a sales representative, our choices may be skewed, putting our health and safety at risk.
What is product mislabeling?
Consumers are often enticed to purchase products (home goods, household cleaners, building materials, foods, beverages, nutritional supplements, wellness products, clothing, footwear, and others) by labels that make claims that are untrue or do not tell the truth about harmful ingredients. Our attorneys work with consumers to convince companies to change misleading and illegal labels, to stop deceptive marketing and sales tactics, and to face consequences for engaging in deliberate, company-wide fraud.
Failure to warn of potentially toxic chemicals
We represent clients regarding companies’ failure to warn or disclose harmful and toxic substances their product may contain. For example, Connary, et al. v. S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., is a class action alleging false and misleading “non-toxic” claims on certain Method Products sold throughout the U.S.
False, misleading, or unsubstantiated health claims
Companies sell products by making people think the product will give them better health. For example, the Diamond Foods class action resulted in a $2.8 million class settlement due to unlawful Omega-3 heart health claims. Zeisel v. Diamond Foods, Inc., 2011 WL 2221113 and 2012 WL 4902970 (N.D. Cal.).
Deceptive advertising and marketing schemes
The Kashi class action challenged Kashi’s “Nothing Artificial” and “All Natural” labeling, ultimately resulting in a $5 million class settlement for California consumers—which at the time was the largest single-state class settlement in a food labeling case. Astiana v. Kashi Company, 291 F.R.D. 493 and 295 F.R.D. 490 (S.D. Cal. 2013).
Products Claiming Special Features
Companies may claim their product is superior because it has special features that would justify a higher cost. Labeling and advertisements marketing the product entice buyers to purchase it, spending more for it. When consumers purchase them, they may learn the claims are not true.
Some products are marketed as containing 0g sugars or 0g total sugars but do not contain a prominent warning that they are not low or reduced calorie foods, which violates Cal. Health & Safety Code § 110100. Denise Cleveland, et al. v. Campbell Soup Company, et al., No. 3:21-cv-06002-JD, (N.D. Cal.).