A California court has approved the class action settlement agreement in a lawsuit alleging that Hain falsely advertised, marketed, sold, and labeled Avalon Organics® and Jason® products as organic in violation of California’s Organic Products Act and state consumer-protection stat- utes. Brown v. Hain Celestial Grp., Inc., No. 11-3082 (N.D. Cal., order entered February 17, 2016). The court found the “proposed settlement is sufficiently fair, adequate, and reasonable that preliminary approval of the settlement is warranted.”
Under the amended order, Hain agreed to pay $7.5 million in cash and $1.85 million in coupons for Avalon Organics® and Jason® products. The balance of the $7.5 million that remains in the fund after all claims, service awards, fees and costs are paid will be “donated cy pres in equal shares” to the California Consumer Protection Foundation and the Jesse Smith Noyes Foundation. As part of the compromise, class members who participate in the settlement agreed to release any claims under relevant state or federal laws in connection with Avalon Organics® and Jason® brand cosmetic products sold or manufactured during the class period.