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Class Actions Lawsuits- January 2024

The following is a summary of relevant, notable Class Action Lawsuits that were filed during January 2024.  Below is a summary of the plaintiff’s allegations.  To request a copy of a particular complaint or for queries or further discussion, you’re welcome to reach out via email at [email protected]

  1. Ward v. Pepperidge Farm, Inc.

Plaintiff Veronika Ward has filed a class action lawsuit against Pepperidge Farm, Inc. alleging false and misleading representation of their Goldfish Flavor Blasted Baked Snack Crackers products. Despite being advertised as containing “No Artificial Flavors or Preservatives,” the products contain citric acid, a known artificial preservative. Ward asserts claims for violation of New York General Business Law, breach of express warranty, and unjust enrichment. The court has jurisdiction over the case, with venue deemed proper in the Southern District of New York. Citric acid, classified as a preservative by the FDA, is chemically processed and can have adverse effects, despite its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. The plaintiff argues that the defendant is capitalizing on consumer demand for preservative-free food by misrepresenting the products.

  1. Garza v. Spectrum Brands Pet LLC. 

Plaintiff Christine Garza has filed a lawsuit against Spectrum Brands Pet LLC, alleging false and misleading practices concerning its DreamBone Dream Kabobz product. Garza claims the product is inaccurately marketed as containing real chicken, pork, and duck when it actually contains glycerin and sorbitol, which concerns pet owners. Seeking damages, restitution, and various remedies, Garza asserts that she and others would not have bought the product or paid as much if they knew the truth. The plaintiff alleges that Spectrum Brands Pet LLC knowingly misled consumers and violated California law by misrepresenting the product’s source and characteristics. Additionally, claims of breach of implied warranty of merchantability, common law fraud, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment are made against the defendant. The court has jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, with venue deemed appropriate in the Eastern District of California due to the defendant’s business operations and the events in question occurring there.

  1. Meza-Soliven et al v. The Liv Group, Inc. 

Plaintiffs Patricia Meza-Soliven, Michael Betzag, and Linda Esopa have filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, represented by Michael D. Braun and Peter N. Wasylyk. They allege that defendants The Liv Group, Inc. and Unilever North America falsely labeled their Liquid I.V. hydration electrolyte drink powder stick mixes as having “No Preservatives” when they contain citric acid and other preservatives. The plaintiffs argue that this conduct violates various California and New York laws, including the Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, and the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, as well as constitutes a breach of warranty and unjust enrichment. Seeking class action status, the plaintiffs request restitution, damages, and an injunction against the defendants.

  1. Cave v. Rowdy Beverage, Inc. 

Plaintiff Austin Cave is taking legal action against Rowdy Beverage, Inc. for deceptive practices concerning the advertising, labeling, and sale of Rowdy Power Burn Energy Drinks. Cave alleges that Rowdy falsely represents the drinks as containing “No Preservatives” when they actually contain citric acid and ascorbic acid, both classified as preservatives by the FDA. This misrepresentation exploits consumer demand for preservative-free products. Cave asserts that Rowdy’s actions violate various Florida laws, including the Uniform Commercial Code, the Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and regulations against false advertising and sales. Cave is alleging breach of express warranty, false advertising, and unfair and deceptive trade practices, and seeks damages, punitive damages, equitable relief, and injunctive relief. The court has jurisdiction due to diversity jurisdiction and the Class Action Fairness Act, with venue deemed appropriate in the Middle District of Florida.

  1. Mcwhite-York V. Pepperidge Farm Inc. 

Plaintiff Kamonica McWhite-York is suing Pepperidge Farm, Inc. for falsely advertising their Goldfish products as containing “No Artificial Flavors or Preservatives,” when they contain citric acid, an artificial preservative. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, seeks to represent affected individuals nationwide and in South Carolina. The complaint alleges breach of express warranty and unjust enrichment, stating that Pepperidge Farm is exploiting the demand for preservative-free foods through deceptive advertising.

  1. Daly  v. The Wonderful Company LLC. 

Plaintiff John Daly has filed a class action complaint against The Wonderful Company LLC, alleging violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Businesses Practices Act, common law fraud, and unjust enrichment. The complaint focuses on the labeling of Fiji bottled water as “Natural Artisan Water” despite containing microplastics, which the plaintiff argues is misleading. Citing studies on the health risks of microplastics, the plaintiff seeks damages, injunctive relief, and other remedies. The complaint defines the plaintiff class and outlines the legal grounds for the lawsuit.

  1. Yeh v. The Hershey Company 

Eric Yeh has filed a class action complaint against The Hershey Company and Rainforest Alliance Inc., alleging false marketing of Hershey’s organic and plant-based chocolate bars as ethically sourced and sustainable. The complaint disputes Hershey’s claims of “100 percent certified and sustainable cocoa,” pointing out a 68 percent sourcing visibility. It criticizes Rainforest Alliance’s certification process for allowing farms with labor abuses to remain certified. The complaint asserts consumer deception for profit gain and outlines additional causes of action, including violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, breach of express warranty, and unjust enrichment.

  1. Wall V. The Glad Products Company 

Chris Wall alleges that The Glad Products Company is deceptive in marketing their bags as “recycling bags” when they are not recyclable in most areas. The document emphasizes the importance of environmentally friendly products and discusses the limitations of recycling due to contamination and inadequate facilities for LDPE plastics. It cites the Federal Trade Commission’s “Green Guides” regarding deceptive product representations. The document highlights misleading labeling, website claims, and the use of the “chasing arrows” symbol by the company. It asserts that these practices allow the company to sell their product at a premium price. Additionally, the document establishes jurisdiction, venue, class action allegations, causes of action, and the plaintiff’s request for a jury trial and class action status. 

  1. Karissa Gates et al v. Upfield US Inc. 

Plaintiffs Karissa Gates and Janine Hwang are suing Upfield US Inc. for allegedly misleading labeling on their “Plant Butter” product. They claim that despite being labeled as “Made With Avocado Oil” or “With Avocado Oil,” the actual amount of avocado oil in the product is negligible, as per the ingredient list. The plaintiffs argue that this labeling misleads consumers by capitalizing on the popularity of avocado oil. They reference federal and state statutes, including the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and various California laws, to support their case. The plaintiffs assert that the product is misbranded and that Upfield’s conduct was unfair and fraudulent, leading to consumers paying more for the product. Additionally, the summary outlines details regarding jurisdiction, venue, class action allegations, and the first claim for relief.

  1. Morton v. Health-Ade LLC.pdf 

Plaintiff Alanna Morton is suing Health-Ade LLC for distributing beverage products containing dangerous levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as “forever chemicals” due to their persistence and health risks. Independent testing revealed PFAS chemicals, including PFBA, PFHXA, and 6:2 FTS, in several Health-Ade products. Morton argues that consumers wouldn’t expect health-focused products to contain these harmful chemicals, leading to economic injury for herself and other class members. The case is filed in the US District Court Southern District of New York, asserting jurisdiction over the defendant. It defines the plaintiff class, outlines common legal questions, and adds two causes of action: New York General Business Law violations and unjust enrichment.

  1. Johnson et al v. Wanabana LLC.

Plaintiffs Madison Johnson and Elvin Dowling are suing WanaBana LLC and WanaBana USA LLC for selling apple sauce and apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches containing hazardous levels of lead, chromium, and potentially other toxins. Despite a recall of 1.74 million units due to lead levels 2,000 times the proposed international standard, WanaBana marketed the products as safe and healthy. The plaintiffs argue the advertising and packaging were deceptive, and they seek relief and damages under Florida and US laws for breach of warranties, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, and violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

  1. Kessler V. The Quaker Oats Company

 Plaintiff Raymond Kessler is suing The Quaker Oats Company for deceptive practices in relation to the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of granola bars and cereal products. Kessler alleges that the company failed to disclose the potential presence of Salmonella in these products, which led to serious health risks. He argues that the company knowingly omitted this information, violating New York General Business Law and breaching warranties. With two recent product recalls due to Salmonella contamination, Kessler seeks to file the case as a class action lawsuit, defining the class and providing reasons for class action suitability. He also alleges violations of New York General Business Law sections 349 and 350.

  1. Troutman v. Conagra Brands Inc.

Plaintiff Marcia Troutman is suing Conagra Brands, Inc. in the Southern District of New York for deceptive practices concerning the labeling and sale of Chef Boyardee canned pasta products. Troutman alleges that Conagra falsely represents the products as containing “No Preservatives” despite containing citric acid, classified as a preservative by the Food Drug & Cosmetic Act. She argues that Conagra exploits consumer demand for “clean label” products, which are perceived as healthier. Troutman claims economic injury and seeks damages, equitable relief, and injunctive relief, basing her class action lawsuit on breach of express warranty and violations of New York General Business Law.

  1. Willis-Albrigo v. Motts LLP, Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. 

Plaintiffs Laura Willis-Albrigo and Tiffany Taylor, along with others similarly situated, filed a complaint for damages, equitable, declaratory, and injunctive relief against defendants Motts, LLP and Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. The complaint alleges that the defendants falsely labeled their product, Mr. & Mrs. T Original Bloody Mary Mix, as having “No Added Preservatives,” despite containing the preservative citric acid as revealed in the ingredient deck. The plaintiffs argue that this conduct breaches warranty and violates various California and New York laws, as well as the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. They seek redress for the defendants’ deceptive practices, including breach of express warranty, unlawful business practices, unfair business practices, and fraudulent business practices. Additionally, the plaintiffs seek restitution based on quasi-contract/unjust enrichment and injunctive relief to prevent the defendants from continuing their deceptive practices.

  1. Trammell v. No Sugar Company Ltd.

Charles C. Weller represents plaintiff Collin Trammell in a lawsuit against No Sugar Company Ltd. The case is heard in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California under the Class Action Fairness Act and diversity jurisdiction. Trammell alleges that No Sugar Company Ltd.’s Joyburst energy drinks are falsely labeled as “Naturally Flavored” despite containing artificial flavoring (DL malic acid), which violates federal regulations. The complaint also cites California’s Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law, which incorporates FDCA food flavoring regulations. Trammell argues that DL malic acid is used to simulate or reinforce fruit flavors on the label, constituting artificial flavoring. Specific violations of the CLRA are alleged, and the plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, damages, attorney’s fees, and additional counts for unjust enrichment and breach of express warranty.

  1. Knuth v. TC Heartland LLC.

Plaintiff Stephen Knuth is leading a class action lawsuit against TC Heartland LLC, alleging deceptive marketing practices regarding Splenda Naturals Stevia jars. The lawsuit focuses on the product’s labeling as “100% Natural,” which the plaintiff claims is misleading because it contains synthetic ingredients (stevia leaf extract and erythritol). The plaintiff argues that consumers were misled into paying a premium for the product based on this false representation. Although Heartland has updated its marketing, the plaintiff asserts that they are still liable for past deceptive practices. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and discusses the suitability of class action status. The court has jurisdiction due to the amount in controversy, and venue is deemed appropriate in Duval County, FL.