This Monday, The Honest Company, Inc. (“Honest”) and two named plaintiffs notified a federal district court in Manhattan that the parties have settled their lawsuit on a class-wide basis in connection with Honest’s “natural” product advertising.
How can product manufacturers protect themselves from similar legal risk?
Honest’s “Natural” Product Advertising and Class Action Lawsuits
Honest, which was co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, describes its “ideal” as providing household products that are “unquestionably safe” and “eco-friendly.” Many Honest-manufactured products are advertised as “natural” in promotional materials.
In February 2016, two New York City residents sued Honest on behalf of all New York State residents who purchased the subject Honest products from retail locations in the State. The plaintiffs allege that Honest’s products are actually “a chemical soup” of ingredients, some of which are purportedly synthetic and classified by the federal government as toxic substances. The lawsuit includes claims against Honest for deceptive advertising and breach of express warranty.
As we previously reported, a similar, separate “natural” product advertising class action lawsuit was filed against Honest in September 2016 on behalf of California consumers.
Parties Announce Settlement of New York Product Advertising Lawsuit
On June 12, 2017, Honest and the two named New Yorkers filed a Joint Notice with the Court, announcing their settlement of the Manhattan federal lawsuit on a class-wide basis.
While the parties have not yet disclosed the terms of the class action settlement, they state in the filing that “[t]he plaintiffs are in the process of preparing a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement and anticipate filing it with this Court shortly.”
We have previously reported on the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) efforts to police the “natural” product advertising space. Professional class action plaintiffs’ attorneys have taken the FTC’s lead and commenced numerous class actions targeting manufacturers who advertise their products as “natural.” With the prospect of significant regulatory and legal liability at stake, it is more important than ever to speak with an experienced attorney before launching any “natural” product advertising campaign.