Rite Aid named in class action lawsuit over misleading labeling of private label vitamins and supplements

The claims arise from the marketing and sales of certain “Rite Aid” branded vitamins, minerals, supplements, herbs, sports nutrition and other health and wellness products (collectively “Nutritional Supplements”). The Nutritional Supplements at issue are marketed, labeled, and sold with inaccurate or misleading representations and omissions on the container in violation of Federal and state of Oregon law and regulations. As alleged, containers for the Nutritional Supplements at issue falsely indicate that the contents provide a certain number of milligrams (“MGs” or “mgs”) of Nutritional Supplement per tablet, capsule, caplet, chew, or other individualized delivery method (“Unit”) and/or they contain inaccurate or misleading representations and omissions related to the total amount of milligrams of Nutritional Supplement included in the entire container.

COMPLAINT

Iberia Foods named in class action lawsuit for deceptively advertising olive oil

This is a consumer protection action arising out of the deceptive and otherwise improper business practices that Defendant, IBERIA FOOD CORP. engages in through the packaging, marketing, and sale of the 68 Fl. Oz. Iberia Premium Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil (“the Product”). The Product is sold in misleadingly labeled containers where the words “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” are emboldened and holographic whilst the words “Sunflower Oil &” above these are printed inconspicuously in indistinct, camouflaged ink and narrow font that is barely distinguishable from the background and is readily overlooked by consumers.

As alleged, the “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” is in conspicuous gold that is prominent to the eye. By contrast, the sunflower oil disclosure is in black typeset that blends into the dark green background and will be readily missed once the more ostentatious olive oil disclosure catches the hurried shopper’s eye. By highlighting and emboldening “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” while simultaneously obscuring “Sunflower Oil &” in camouflaged ink, Defendant intends to mislead the rushed and unsuspecting consumer into believing that the Product is entirely comprised of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Defendant intends for consumers to believe that they are purchasing a product which they are not.

This deception is particularly brazen and egregious given that the Product is only 20% extra virgin olive oil and an entire 80% refined sunflower oil. Defendant thus goes out of its way to highlight the minor ingredient while obscuring the major one.

COMPLAINT

Diamond Foods named in class action lawsuit over “made with natural ingredients”  and no preservative representations

 

This is a consumer protection action seeking redress for, and a stop to, Defendant’s unfair and deceptive practice of advertising and marketing its line of potato chips (the ” Products”) as “Made with Natural Ingredients” and having no preservatives.

Products include:

Organic Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips

Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper Krinkle Cut Potato Chips

Backyard Barbecue Potato Chips

Chili Lime Potato Chips

Buffalo Blue Krinkle Cut Potato Chips

Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips

Pepperoncini Potato Chips

Tropical Salsa Potato Chips

Fiery Thai Potato Chips

Country Style Barbecue Potato Chips

Honey Dijon Potato Chips

New York Cheddar Potato Chips

As alleged, defendant’s “No Preservatives” representations are false, deceptive and misleading because the Products contain the preservative, citric acid. This labeling deceives consumers into believing that they are receiving healthier preservative free beverages even though these products cannot live up to these claims.

The complaint also alleges that Defendant’s “Made with Natural Ingredients'” representations are false, deceptive, and misleading because the preservative, citric acid, is a synthetic compound and thus not natural.

Diamond Foods 10-4-18

CVS named in class action lawsuit over adulterated thyroid tablets

This is a class action lawsuit over thyroid tablets manufactured and distributed by Westminster Pharmaceuticals, LLC (“Westminster”) and sold through and by CVS Pharmacy, Inc. (“CVS”).

Specifically, the lawsuit pertains to Defendants Westminster’s manufacturing and distribution of adulterated generic prescription thyroid medications containing Levothyroxine and Liothyronine tablets for oral use, branded as “Thyroid Tablets, USP” or “Thyroid Tablets” (hereafter, “Thyroid Tablets”). CVS sold these adulterated generic prescription medications to Plaintiff and other similarly situated consumers.

Levothyroxine (tetraiodothyronine sodium) and Liothyronine (liothyronine sodium) are generic prescription medications indicated as replacement or supplemental therapy in patients with hypothyroidism, among other conditions. Westminster combines both compounds into a generic formulation consisting of a single oral tablet, which is branded as “Thyroid Tablets, USP” or “Thyroid Tablets.” However, due to manufacturing defects originating from overseas laboratories in China, Westminster’s formulation has become adulterated.

On August 9, 2018, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) posted a notice of a voluntary recall of Thyroid Tablets by Westminster subsequent to multiple violations of the Food Drug and Cosmetics and good manufacturing practices issued there under.

As alleged, Plaintiff and the Class were injured by paying the full purchase price of their Thyroid Tablets. These medications are worthless, as they have been found to be adulterated and are not fit for human consumption.

COMPLAINT

 

That’s It Nutrition, LLC named in class action lawsuit alleging false advertising

 

That’s It Nutrition, LLC manufactures and sells snack food products under the brand “That’s it.” The Products consist of (1) fruit bars, (2) fruit bars with added spicy ingredients, (3) chocolate-covered fruit pieces (4) vegetable bars. The products labeling claim: “No Purees or Juices,” “No Sulfur or Sulfites,” “No Sugar Added,” “No Preservatives,” the “2 ingredient snack,” “Just Fruit” and “Fruit is all we use.” According to the complaint, the labeling conveys that the defendant was responsible for taking the whole intact fruit, washing it, dicing or chopping it, then mashing it together to form the final bar, so that the product can credibly attest that it contains ingredients identified by a collective name.

 

As alleged, by listing ingredients with a collective name, a reasonable consumer gets the impression that the raw material existed in its whole, intact form, which means the products are necessarily fresher because its component ingredients were not made years ago and sat on a warehouse shelf until the time they were used in the products. It is misleading, however, to list ingredients with a collective name because consumers are unable to distinguish the value, quality and nature of the actual ingredients prior to purchase.

 

The complaint claims the labeling is misleading because That’s It does not convert whole, intact fruits or vegetables into the final product. Rather, the Products contain ingredients which have already been subjected to various levels of processing and transformation such that designating them by their collective name is misleading.  The Complaint contends that rather than containing fruit, the bars are made from a highly processed fruit powder.

Eat Real Foods USA, named in class action lawsuit for misleading consumers about the amounts of characterizing ingredients in their products

 

Eat Real Foods USA, LLC manufactures and sells snack products made from lentils, chickpeas and quinoa under the brand “EatReal” accompanied by slogans and advertising promoting the healthy and unique aspects of its Products. The complaint pertains to “Quinoa Puffs,” “Quinoa Chips,” “Lentil Chips,” and “Hummus Chips” (the “Products”), sold to consumers in bags of various sizes through third-parties via brick-and-mortar stores and online.

As alleged, though the Quinoa Puffs lists “Quinoa Puffs” as the first and most predominant ingredient, the listing of its sub-ingredients reveals “Corn Meal” present in an amount greater than quinoa. Similarly, the Quinoa Chips list “Quinoa Flour” as the first ingredient, the second ingredient is “Corn Flour” and the fourth ingredient is “Corn Starch,” making it probable that corn is present in the Quinoa Chips in an amount greater than quinoa. The Lentil and Hummus Chips’ lists lentil flour and chickpea flour as their first ingredients. However, because lentil flour (48%) and chickpea flour (45%) are each present in an amount less than half, it is probable that the substantive, non-flavoring ingredients are actually present in an amount which exceeds lentil and chickpea flour.

As alleged, the labeling of these products misleadingly suggest that the Products either consist entirely of quinoa, lentils and chickpeas or at a minimum that those ingredients are present in an amount which greatly exceeds any other non-substantive ingredients. This impression is reinforced by each Product being prominently identified with a large circle denoting the specific flavor – i.e., White Cheddar Flavor – such that they will conclude the flavor is “White Cheddar” when actually the Products are corn, rice and potato snacks that are flavored with quinoa, lentils and chickpeas.

COMPLAINT

Victoria Fine Foods named in class action lawsuit over mislabeling its premium vodka sauce

Victoria

Defendant sells Victoria Premium Vodka Sauce which it claims to be “All Natural” with “No Preservatives.” Defendant’s Product, however, contains substantial quantities of the unnatural ingredient and preservative Citric Acid, which is synthetic/non-natural or highly chemically processed.

As alleged, consumers attribute a wide range of benefits to foods made entirely of natural ingredients. Consumers perceive all-natural foods to be higher quality, healthier, safer to eat and less damaging to the environment. Defendant profited in this lucrative market for natural foods by misleadingly labeling the Product as containing “No Preservatives” and selling them to consumers who sought to purchase products made from ingredients that are naturally occurring and who were willing to pay more for such foods.

Plaintiffs bring this proposed consumer class action on behalf of themselves and all other persons nationwide who purchased for consumption and not resale any of Defendant’s Victoria Premium Vodka Sauce.

COMPLAINT

FDA Warns Kind LLC about mislabeling and misbranding their products with unsupported nutrient content claims

The FDA sent a letter warning Kind LLC, the maker of a variety of bars, that their Kind Fruit & Nut Almond & Apricot, Kind Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut, Kind Plus Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, and Kind Plus Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants products are misbranded under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) as improper implied nutrient content claims, because they bear statements suggesting that the product may be useful in maintaining healthy dietary practices, and those statements are made in connection with claims or statements about nutrients.

According to the FDCA, a manufacturer may use the term “healthy” as an implied nutrient content claim on the label of a food provided that the food, among other things, is “low saturated fat”[i.e., the food has a saturated fat content of 1 g or less and no more than 15 percent of the calories are from saturated fat].

The FDA bars found the following products did not meet this standard.

Kind Fruit & Nut Almond & Apricot which contains 3.5 g of saturated fat per 40 g

Kind Fruit & Nut Almond & Coconut product which contains 5 g of saturated fat per 40 g

Kind Plus Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein product contains 3.5 g of saturated fat per 40 g

Kind Fruit & Nut Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants contains 2.5 g of saturated fat per 40 g

The FDA also found Kind’s use of  the phrase “antioxidant-rich” and “good source of fiber” in violation of the FDCA labeling requirements.

 

Accurate labeling matters.  If you were misled by the labeling on this product or any others, we want to hear from you. Please share your story with community and/or directly with us via the contact a lawyer box below.  

FDA finds many dark chocolates contain milk and do not disclose it to consumers

The FDA tested 100 dark chocolate products and found that many contained milk. Most importantly consumers could not tell about the inclusion of milk by reading the food label.

Milk is one of eight major food allergens (the others are wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, Crustacean shellfish and soybeans). U.S. law requires foods containing a major food allergen to provide its name—in this case, milk—on the label. This is one of the ways to help ensure consumers know what’s in the food they’re eating. Undeclared (not listed on the label) allergens are a leading cause of food recall requests by the FDA.

A manufacturer may not intend to use milk in a dark chocolate product but if the dark chocolate product shares equipment with, for example, a milk chocolate product, traces of milk may inadvertently wind up in the dark chocolate. After hearing from consumers who had eaten dark chocolate and experienced harmful reactions, FDA tested 100 dark chocolate bars for the presence of undeclared milk. The selected bars were obtained from different parts of the U.S. and each bar was unique in terms of product line and/or manufacturer.

What the FDA Study Found

•While dark chocolates labeled “dairy free or allergen-free” were the least likely to contain milk, two out of 17 of these products were found to contain milk.

•All seven bars that declared the presence of milk on the label contained milk; however, 55 (59%) of 93 bars without any clear indication of the presence of milk also were found to contain milk.

•Six out of the eleven chocolate products labeled “traces of milk” contained milk at detectable levels high enough to potentially cause severe reactions in some individuals.

The FDA warns consumers who are allergic to milk should be aware that a high proportion of tested dark chocolates contained milk. “

Consumers can find out what products have been recalled recently at FDA’s website and at the Food Allergy Research and Education website.

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates

 

Supreme Protein LLC named in class action lawsuit for misrepresenting contents of Supreme Protein Caramel Nut Chocolate Protein Bar

Defendant advertised, promoted, marketed, distributed and sold, both online and in retail stores throughout the nation a nutrition bar known as Supreme Protein Caramel Nut Chocolate Protein Bar, based upon false labelling of the concentration of saturated fat and cholesterol in the product.

As alleged, the Supreme Protein Caramel Nut Chocolate Protein Bar, was sold to the U.S. consumer public based upon entirely false claims of concentration of saturated fat and cholesterol. In truth and in fact, and contrary to Defendant’s product labelling, Defendant’s product contains, 25% more saturated fat than labeled; and, over 2 1/2 times more cholesterol than the labeled amount.

Defendant took consumers’ money predicated on specific labelling of constituent ingredients and delivered, in return, a product which overdosed consumers with an undisclosed concentration of saturated fat and cholesterol.

The putative class comprises all nationwide purchasers of Defendant’s Supreme Protein Caramel Nut Chocolate Protein Bar for the six year period preceding the filing of this suit.

Plaintiff and members of the class received something less than, and different from, what they reasonably expected in view of Defendant’s labelling representations. As a result, they suffered ascertainable loss.