Our consumer protection lawyers represent consumers injured by deceptive marketing practices or product labeling in false advertising and misleading labeling consumer lawsuits.
False or misleading advertisements can induce customers to pay higher prices for products or to buy things they do not really want. Companies that use untruthful or confusing ads can be liable to customers for losses caused by their reliance on the ads under state and federal law.
Consumers depend upon the accuracy of food and other product labels to make safe and informed product choices. Labels that mislead consumers or provide false information can violate state and federal labeling laws. Deceptive product labels may also violate state and federal advertising laws.
Companies employ a number of techniques in false or misleading advertising schemes. These may include:
- bait-and-switch ads
- false or misleading labels
- advertising that fails to disclose material information
- advertising that falsely portrays a product as superior to that of another company
- ads that confuse consumers regarding the identity of a product, seller, or manufacturer
- advertisements that misrepresent or provide confusing information about a product’s cost
- ads that fail to disclose extra costs associated with a product’s purchase or that reveal such costs in a confusing way
False advertising can also cause businesses to sustain unfair losses. For information about lawsuits involving business losses from false or misleading ads, see False Advertising Lanham Act Lawsuits.
FALSE / MISLEADING ADVERTISING CONSUMER CLASS ACTIONS
False advertising is a form of consumer fraud prohibited by state and federal consumer protection laws. False advertising consumer lawsuits are generally brought as class actions by large numbers of consumers deceived by a defendant company or companies.
Class actions enable consumers whose personal losses would not justify an individual suit to join with others victimized by the same manipulative and illegal tactics. These lawsuits penalize companies for their illegal practices and help to deter them from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
Courts may hold companies liable for customer losses resulting from any untruthful or misleading claim about a product or its price. Illegal false and misleading ads may appear in:
- newspapers, magazines, emails, online advertisements, and other written materials or media
- television and radio ads
- product labels and packaging
RELIEF IN FALSE ADVERTISING CONSUMER LAWSUITS
Courts may award monetary damages to plaintiffs in successful false advertising class actions as financial compensation for actual losses incurred. Courts may also order defendants to:
- refrain from any additional false or misleading advertising, and/or
- publish advertisements or notices that correct misleading or false information in prior ads
MISLEADING LABELING CLASS ACTIONS
Deceptive product labels can violate consumer fraud, false advertising, and product labeling laws. Misleading label lawsuits are generally brought as class actions by consumers who have made unwanted purchases in reliance on false or deceptive labels.
The federal Fair Packaging and Label Act (FPLA) regulates labeling of all “consumer commodities” as to net contents, product identity, and manufacturer’s, packer’s, or distributor’s name and location. The Act also authorizes additional regulations necessary to enable value comparisons or prevent consumer deception regarding:
- slack-fill packaging
- lower-price labeling
- “cents-off” labeling
- package sizes
DECEPTIVE FOOD LABELING LAWSUITS
A large percentage of misleading label lawsuits involve incomplete, inaccurate, or ambiguous food labels. Both the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) outlaw deceptive or false food labeling.
False or misleading food label lawsuits include actions related to purchases of foods illegally labeled as “organic.” The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA):
- created national standards for “organic” food product production, processing, and handling, and
- authorized creation of the National Organic Program (NOP), which dictates standards food producers must meet to comply with organic food labeling requirements
Consumers may also bring actions against food manufacturers and marketers for labels falsely characterizing food products as “all natural.” Consumers in “all natural” misleading label lawsuits generally allege that the labels induced them to buy foods they would not have purchased if they had not been misled by their “all natural” claims.
ILLEGAL GREEN LABELING LAWSUITS
False labeling lawsuits also include actions involving non-food products with deceptive labels. Inappropriate or misleading “green” (environmentally friendly) labeling may violate state and federal laws. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Green Guides provide instruction on the creation of labels that will not mislead consumers regarding a product’s environmental effects.
DAMAGES IN DECEPTIVE LABELS LAWSUITS
Courts may order defendants in misleading label actions:
- to pay damages to consumers for monetary losses sustained from purchasing unwanted products in reliance on false or misleading labels, and
- to remove false and deceptive labels from product packaging