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Food and Nutrition Class Actions

Mott’s Class Action
Plaintiffs sought to file a class action lawsuit against Mott’s alleging the company’s “no sugar added” phrase was not in compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations. FDA rules require that the “no sugar added” label must be accompanied by information warning consumers that the product is not necessarily a reduced calorie or lower calorie product. A judge dealt a setback to the consumer’s case against Motts by denying class certification as a result of concerns related to calculating damages.

Other Cases involving Food and Nutrition:

Red Bull Energy Drink Class Action
Red Bull North America Inc. reached a $13 million settlement with plaintiffs who had filed a class action claim. Plaintiffs alleged that Red Bull’s advertising was deceptive and made false promises. Ads claimed the ability of Red Bull to “give wings,” and to “vitalize” both the mind and body. However, consumers filing the consumer class action indicated that Red Bill was not more effective than caffeine from other sources, including coffee or caffeine pills.

Truvia Natural Sweetener Class Action
Plaintiffs in the Truvia class action objected to the improper use of the phrase “all natural” for Truvia sweeteners. The sweetener contained “highly processed” ingredients as well as ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Vitaminwater Deceptive Marketing Class Action
Plaintiffs filed a class action against Coca-Cola over claims that the company mislead them into believing its Vitaminwater product was in healthy although the drink actually contained close to the same amount of sugar as a Coke soda drink.

Ghirardelli White Chocolate Class Action
Plaintiffs settled a class action brought against Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. The plaintiffs claimed that Ghiradelli falsely advertised certain products as all natural, and that the candy company created a misleading impression suggesting that white chocolate was found in certain products that did not actually contain the substance.

Madenlian v. Flax USA
A class action lawsuit, Mandelian v. Flax, has been settled. The suit arose out of claims of misleading advertising. Plaintiffs said the company made improper statements claiming its Flax USA milk products were an “All Natural Dairy Free Beverage.”

Purina Class Action

Class action filed alleges that “Purina Beneful brand dog food” contains toxins and other harmful ingredients that have led to serious illness or death in thousands of dogs. Symptoms include vomiting, weight loss, diarrhea, internal bleeding, and kidney failure. Thousands of pet owners have posted complaints online reporting their dogs became ill or died after consuming Purina Beneful products.

Class action claims Fullbars diet bars do not contain “all natural” ingredients

Fullbars advertise their diet bars as “100% Natural” and “All Natural”; however, a class action alleges the diet bars are not made with all natural ingredients. Fullbars diet bar ingredients include maltodextrin, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, and soy lecithin, all of which are synthetic and/or artificial.

The “All Natural” label allows companies to charge a higher price than normal because consumers see the product as containing healthier and better quality ingredients. The suit alleges consumers were harmed by Fullbar’s false and misleading advertising.

Walmart sued over “deceptive advertising” on juice labels

Walmart’s “Great Value 100% Cranberry Pomegranate Juice” prominently displays cranberries and pomegranates on the label, yet both fruits are only a minor ingredient in the juice. The actual ingredients mainly consist of water and white grape juice concentrate, apple juice concentrate, and plus juice concentrate, none of which are displayed or mentioned on the front label.

A class action filed claims that Walmart’s labeling of their juice leads consumers to believe that the juice is primarily made of the fruits depicted on the front label, when in reality, it mainly consists of “cheaper juices,” with pomegranate and cranberry used only as minor ingredients.

Drug Class Actions

Z-Pak and Antibacterial Medications Class Action
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to consumers taking Zithromax, Z-Pak, and other medications with the active ingredient azithromycin. Azithromycin is a popular macrolide antibiotic that halts the growth of bacteria. The antibiotic is used to treat a variety of medical conditions but the FDA warns that it could increase the risk of cardiovascular death.

The FDA warning follows the publication of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine comparing risks of heart-related deaths among patients taking no antibacterial drugs, as well as taking medications including azithromycin (Zithromax), Avelox (moxifloxacin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), and  amoxicillin.

Many people assume antibiotics are safe. However, medical experts caution that Quinolone antibiotics may not provide sufficient warning about potential serious side effects, including liver toxicity and liver damage.

Relacore Class Action
A class action lawsuit against Carter-Reed Company LLC, as well as several other defendants, was filed due to allegedly misleading labeling and marketing of Relacore products. Relacore products were marketed as weight-loss supplements and belly-fat reducers that also improved mood and lessened anxiety. The lawsuit claimed defendants violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and other consumer protection laws because these claims were misleading.  Consumers who purchased the products after January 1, 2000 may be entitled to cash compensation arising from the settlement.

Telephone Sales and Unsolicited Calls Class Actions
Chase Bank TCPA Class Action
Chase Bank was held accountable under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for the company’s unlawful contact with consumers.The class action settled with Chase, and consumers are to be compensated in accordance with TCPA provisions.

Capital One TCPA Class Action
Capital One was held accountable under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act for improper contact with consumers. The class action against Capital One settled and consumers who were unlawfully contacted will receive compensation in accordance with provisions of TCPA.

Home Products Class Actions

Polyurethane Foam Class Action
A Class of plaintiffs has been certified in a lawsuit against manufacturers and suppliers of polyurethane. Plaintiffs claim the manufacturers and suppliers violated antitrust laws by conspiring to fix, stabilize, and maintain prices of flexible polyurethane foam. This caused the prices to remain inflated, damaging the economic interests of direct purchasers.

Four defendants named in the lawsuit have agreed to settle the claims already, including Leggett & Platt, and more manufacturers may agree to future settlements. Leggett & Platt has agreed to pay more than $40 million to resolve allegations of price fixing. Direct purchasers of flexible polyurethane foam should be aware of the potential impact the class action litigation may have on their rights.

Employment Class Actions

Connolly v. Weight Watchers North America Inc.
More than 3,000 workers in California have settled a class action (Connolly v. Weight Watchers North America Inc.) with Weight Watchers North America.

The class of plaintiffs includes receptionists, leaders and similarly situated workers. The workers alleged that Weight Watchers violated the California Labor Code by failing to pay minimum wage and overtime as required by state law.

Flax USA Inc. Class Action
Flax USA Inc. has settled a class action arising from claims of deceptive labeling. Plaintiffs alleged the flax milk sold by Flax USA Inc. was improperly labeled as “All Natural,” causing consumers to be deceived. Consumers who bought flax milk products within the U.S. from Flax USA are eligible to claim as much as $32.50 from settlement funds. To be eligible for compensation, the milk must have been purchased between 11/5/2009 and  9/22/2014.

Privacy Class Actions
Pier 1 Imports Class Action
Pier 1 Imports has settled a class action lawsuit with consumers who allege their privacy was violated by improper data collection practices in Massachusetts store locations. Plaintiffs claim Pier 1 illegally requested personal identifying information , including zip codes, from consumers who were using credit or debit cards. Plaintiffs also claim the requested information was improperly stored.

Consumers who used a debit or credit card and whose personal information was requested may be entitled to receive benefits from the settlement.

Environmental Class Actions
Enbridge Energy Partners Class Action
Canadian energy company Enbridge Energy Partners has settled a class action lawsuit with Michigan property owners arising from allegations of property contamination. Plaintiffs alleged the energy company had failed to fix a leak, resulting in a 2010 oil spill affecting consumers within 1,000 feet of a river.

Enbridge Energy Partners will pay $2.2 million to both residents and property owners in the affected area. Settlement documents indicate that Interim Lead Class Counsel concluded the terms of  the settlement agreement were reasonable and that it was in the Class Member’s best interests to resolve the claims pursuant to the terms of the agreement.

Defective Vehicles Class Actions

Class action claims vehicles manufactured by Ford, Toyota, and GM are “easily hacked”

Plaintiffs allege that Ford, Toyota, and GM have been manufacturing and selling vehicles that are susceptible to computer hacking, thereby endangering passengers of the vehicles.

A recent report released by U.S. Senator Ed Markey states that new technologies in cars “raises concerns about the ability of hackers to gain access and control to the essential functions and features” of those cars.

Most modern cars contain some level of networked components that work to improve vehicle performance. The suit alleges that these components can be remotely hacked, allowing the hacker to take control of the basic functions of the vehicle and putting the health and safety of the driver at risk. Plaintiffs seek damages and a recall or free replacement program.

Computer and Electronics Class Actions

 

MacKeeper reach $2 million settlement

Zeobit LLC has reached a $2 million settlement with plaintiffs who had filed a class action claim. Plaintiffs alleged that Zeobit, a software company, misrepresented their product, MacKeeper. Plaintiffs allege MacKeeper, which claimed to fix consumers’ computers, actually fabricated errors, privacy threats, other computer problems.

Zeobit will reimburse consumers for the purchase of MacKeeper, up to $40.00.

Nvidia faces class action over GTX 970 graphics card

Plaintiffs allege Nvidia misled those who purchased their GTX 970 graphics card. The card contains 4GB of memory, but it is partitioned into one 3.5GB section and one 512MB section. This can cause issues for computer programs which require the full 4GB of memory.

In addition, the number of ROPs (render output units) was incorrectly listed in various publicity materials as 64 instead of the actual 56, and the cards were said to contain 2MB of L2 cache, when in reality they only contained 1.75MB. The Nvidia is listed at $379.99 on www.bestbuy.com.

Tinder faces class action over subscription-based Tinder Plus

Class action alleges Tinder, an online dating app, engaged in a “bait and switch” by luring users with the promise of free service, and then charging for certain features after knowing they would be hooked.

Tinder has been advertised as a free social app that lets you find people within a certain radius of where you are located. User may then “swipe” a profile left or right depending on if they want to “like” or “pass” on someone. In March, Tinder announced to users that it would limit the number of swipes available to users and that users would have to sign up for a subscription service, Tinder Plus, to receive “unlimited swipes.”

The suit alleges Tinder engaged in false advertising by introducing a paid subscription service to access features that had traditionally been advertised as free of charge. The plaintiff is looking to represent Tinder users who downloaded the app before March 2.

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How To Start a Class Action
Class actions are lawsuits that help many people who are fighting the same problem. It is fought against the same business or company. For example, a class action lawsuit could be filed for everyone who:
  • bought the same defective product,
  • was billed for the same unauthorized charges,
  • was ripped off by the same deceptive advertising, or
  • didn't get paid fairly by their employer.
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Getting Started
Even though class actions often help hundreds or thousands of people, it does not take that many people to get started. Instead, class actions often begin when a single person who has been wronged steps forward to look for a lawyer.
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