Nestlé Faces Allegations of Child Slavery in Cocoa Farms
On April 19, 2019, class claims were filed in federal court in the Southern District of California against the world’s largest food company, Nestlé USA Inc. (“Nestlé”). The suit alleges that Nestlé has “been making its chocolate fortune off the backs of child labor and child slave labor in West Africa.”
On April 16, 2019, class claims were filed against famed motorcycle manufacturer, Harley Davidson Motor Company (“Harley Davidson”) in federal court in the Northern District of California. The suite alleges that the company knowingly sold tens of thousands of motorcycles with a hidden and dangerous defect in its anti-lock braking system (“ABS”).
On April 12, 2019, two concerned mothers filed class claims in federal court in Utah against Owlet Baby Care Inc. the makers of the popular Smart Sock baby monitor, alleging that the company intentionally misled and deceived consumers as to the true nature of its product.
On April 12, 2019, class claims were filed against Young Living Essential Oils in Texas federal court by a company representative who claimed that the company is operating under a “pyramid scheme” business model.
In today’s world of the 24-hour news cycle and the instantaneous publishing power of social media, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to judge what is fact from mere conjecture. At times, it feels like we live in a culture where jumping to conclusions and making broad generalizations has become de rigueur. The subject of this month’s edition of Women in the Law, San Francisco attorney Lori Andrus, is of the opinion that in order to succeed and to make strides, women need to be aware of this potential pitfall and become the most prepared and knowledgeable person in the room.
On April 5, 2019, proposed class claims were filed in Delaware federal court against popular on-demand food delivery service DoorDash Inc. A group of plaintiffs alleged that the company unlawfully collected sales tax from customers in states that do not permit the collection of sales taxes, including New Hampshire, Delaware and Montana.
On April 3, 2019, litigation was commenced against the makers of the popular iced tea brand, Arizona Tea, in federal court in the Eastern District of New York, alleging that the company intentionally misled consumers as to the true ingredients of its Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey.
On April 3, 2019, Earl Enterprises Holdings Inc. (“EEH”), the owner of popular chain restaurants such as Earl of Sandwich, Buca di Beppo and Planet Hollywood, was sued in federal court in the Middle District of Florida, wherein a proposed class of plaintiffs alleged that the company failed to exercise reasonable care in securing and safeguarding its customers’ sensitive personal information. EEH had announced that it experienced a year long data breach affecting customers’ names, credit card numbers and expiration dates and security code numbers.
On March 27, 2019, popular American chain restaurant TGI Friday’s Inc. (“Friday’s”) was served with class claims in New York federal court alleging that the brand intentionally misleads and deceives health-conscious consumers into believing that Friday’s “Potato Skins” snacks actually contain real potato skins.
On March 22, 2019, a group of former students of the now defunct Charlotte School of Law filed suit against the owners of the for-profit former law school, Sterling Capital Partners, in Illinois federal court. The suit alleges that the defendant recklessly attempted to increase the school’s enrollment, revenue and profit by decreasing admissions and curricular standards leading to the school’s loss of accreditation by the American Bar Association (“ABA”) and the eventual closure of the school.
On March 21, 2019, American beer giant Miller Coors LLC, filed suit against rival brewing company Anheuser-Busch in federal court in the Western District of Wisconsin alleging that Anheuser-Busch premiered a false and intentionally misleading advertising campaign during the 2019 Super Bowl. Plaintiff claims that the ad deceived consumers into believing they were consuming corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup (“HFCS”) when drinking Miller Lite and Coors Light beers.
On March 15, 2019, a Brooklyn-based high-end puppet designer filed suit against popular pop band Fall Out Boy, in federal court in the Southern District of New York, alleging that the band infringed and exploited its copyrights and intellectual property by making the new face of the band two highly identifiable llama puppets, created by the plaintiff.
On March 14, 2019, a group of parents and current university students filed class claims in federal court in the Northern District of California against the perpetrators of recent elite college admission cheating scandals, in addition to naming several of the involved schools as defendants.
On March 12, 2019, a $4.2 million settlement was submitted to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu M. Berle for final approval, bringing an end to a proposed class of housekeepers employed by Marriott International Inc. (“Marriott”) who alleged that the hotel chain violated California Labor Code §226.7, 226(a) and 2698 and violated the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act when it failed to provide class members rest periods during the work day.
On March 11, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York, Brian M. Cogan, granted preliminary approval of a $1.5 million settlement between Consumer Goods Inc., the makers of Purex laundry detergents and a class of consumers who alleged that the company intentionally misled customers through the marketing, labeling and advertising of Purex products as containing “natural elements” despite the products including synthetic ingredients.