CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS


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Medical marijuana, CBD oil and other cannabis products have soared in popularity in the last decade. But due to the lack of safety oversight and federal regulation, many CBD and cannabis products have been deemed potentially hazardous, mislabeled or falsely advertised.

As a result, manufacturers and sellers in the cannabis industry have been targeted in complex cannabis marketing lawsuits. Plaintiffs across the U.S. have filed CBD class action cases based on product liability, toxic exposure, false advertising, and deceptive marketing claims.

While a number of states have legalized CBD and marijuana products for medicinal and recreational use, experts warn that some health risks exist. As seen this last year with the rise in THC vaping-related illnesses and deaths, there are health hazards that users of some cannabis products should be cognizant of.

American companies who produce, market and distribute CBD, marijuana and cannabis products have a legal and ethical duty to do so responsibly. With that said, few studies exist on the safety of many CBD products that hit the market.

There is little literature to suggest CBD products are completely safe for long-term use, and yet the cannabis industry touts the benefits of their product while downplaying the potential unknown risks.


Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio Product Liability and Toxic Tort Attorney reviewing current cannabis marketing litigation, false advertising claims, and CBD class action lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs nationwide.


CBD Safety & FDA Warnings


The cannabidiol (CBD) industry is quite robust and has seen considerable growth in the last couple of years. But there is very limited safety information for the large majority of marketed CBD products, and few have been evaluated for potential adverse health effects.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in November 2019 that the federal safety agency had numerous “unanswered questions” and “data gaps” regarding the toxicity of CBD products. The FDA in turn sent warning letters to at least 15 vendors of CBD-containing products.

The current legal status for CBD companies to market and sell their products is still in question. In a statement, the FDA noted that marketing CBD “by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement” is illegal and violates the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The CBD companies who received warning letters included:

  • Koi CBD LLC—Norwalk, California
  • Pink Collections Inc.—Beverly Hills, California
  • Noli Oil—Southlake, Texas
  • Natural Native LLC—Norman, Oklahoma
  • Whole Leaf Organics LLC—Sherman Oaks, California
  • Infinite Product Company LLLP—Lakewood, Colorado
  • Apex Hemp Oil LLC—Redmond, Oregon
  • Bella Rose Labs—Brooklyn, New York
  • Sunflora Inc.—Tampa, Florida
  • Healthy Hemp Strategies LLC—Concord, California
  • Private I Salon LLC—Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Organix Industries Inc.—San Bernardino, California
  • Red Pill Medical Inc.—Phoenix, Arizona
  • Sabai Ventures Ltd.—Los Angeles, California
  • Daddy Burt LLC—Lexington, Kentucky

FDA CBD Regulation


Under the FD&C Act, any product intended to have a therapeutic or medical use, or marketed to treat a disease, and any product intended to affect the function of the human body, is a drug.

At the time of publication, the FDA had not approved any CBD products other than one prescription product (Epidiolex) to treat rare forms of epilepsy. CBD is sometimes used to treat child epilepsy syndromes like Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which may not respond to anti-seizure medications.

In April 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to two more companies for illegally selling unapproved products containing cannabidiol (CBD) in ways that violate the law, particularly with claims that they can treat medical conditions. The agency states it is committed to protecting the public health and ensuring that consumers are not deceived by marketing materials.

The FDA states that they recognize the potential opportunities that cannabis-derived compounds may offer, but they say some companies are marketing products containing cannabis in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). Some brazen acts by companies may even put the health and safety of consumers at risk.


Deceptive Advertising Lawsuits


The FDA has sent warning letters to other companies illegally selling CBD products that claimed to prevent, diagnose, mitigate, treat or cure serious diseases. Some of the CBD products were in further violation because the products were added to food or marketed as dietary supplements without meeting the legal definition of a dietary supplement.

Unlike drugs and supplements approved by the FDA, there has been no real evaluation of whether most CBD products are effective for their intended use, what the proper dosage may be, how they can interact with FDA-approved pharmaceuticals, or whether they have severe side effects.

Consumer safety attorneys worry that some consumers may delay true medical care, proper diagnoses, and treatment due to unsubstantiated claims associated with CBD products.


Plaintiffs lawyers involved in cannabis marketing class action lawsuits have raised other legal and public health concerns, including:

  • Is it legal to market CBD products for use with infants and young children? A younger user base may be at greater risk for adverse reactions or allergic responses, and have drastically different tolerances in absorbing, metabolizing, and excreting CBD.
  • Vaping-related illnesses and deaths have been occurring in almost every state, and unregulated cannabis products have been implicated in some of the cases.
  • Some CBD products are marketed as dietary supplements, even though they do not meet the FD&C Act definition of a dietary supplement.
  • Some CBD companies have made outrageous health benefit claims, with little to no scientific evidence to back up their claims.
  • CBD products may be contaminated and lead to consumer toxic exposure injuries. With very little regulation and minimal quality control requirements, companies may sell toxic products without proper warning labels.

What is CBD?


CBD, or cannabidiol, is an active ingredient in cannabis or marijuana. CBD is a component of medical marijuana, though it is derived from the hemp plant, a relative of the marijuana plant. The exact federal legal status of CBD (cannabidiol) looks much like the complex legal issues surrounding marijuana.

All states have legalized CBD with some areas of restriction, though the federal government still places CBD in the same drug class as marijuana. Some CBD manufacturers and sellers have come under government scrutiny and face legal battles for making false, indefensible claims about the health benefits of CBD.

Product liability attorneys have argued that some CBD companies are violating consumer protection laws and engaging in deceptive marketing campaigns. A number of CBD class action lawsuits have been filed across the nation.

There is a lack of citable medical research available, though CBD may be useful in treating symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Though many users report a variety of health benefits, medical science as a whole does not yet entirely endorse the products, and CBD is mostly available as an unregulated health supplement. Moreover, consumers may not know exactly what they are purchasing and using.


CBD Health Benefits & Side Effects


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has decided to remain cautious and has refused to deem CBD products safe for human use. Even so, consumer demand is robust, and there may be some health benefits associated with CBD.

A study from the European Journal of Pain concluded that CBD could help manage pain and inflammation due to arthritis. There is also evidence that some rare forms of epilepsy can be treated with CBD with more effectiveness than existing anti-seizure medications.

On the other hand, reported side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can also raise levels of other medications in your blood. Because the FDA does not regulate dietary supplements, there is no telling what ingredients are added to CBD products. There is also no precise dosage information that has been established as a CBD standard.

Some CBD products have claimed to be treatments for opioid addiction, with little to no evidence of their efficacy. The FDA released the following statement: “The opioid crisis continues to be a serious problem in the United States, and we will continue to crack down on companies that attempt to benefit from selling products with unfounded treatment claims.”

The FDA sent warning letters were issued to two companies: BIOTA Biosciences, LLC of Washington state and Homero Corp DBA Natures CBD Oil Distribution of New Hampshire for marketing products for serious diseases, as an alternative to opioids, and distributing injectable CBD products.

If injected into the bloodstream, the FDA is concerned that unapproved products could pose a serious risk of harm to users.

Under the FD&C Act, any product intended to treat a disease or have a therapeutic or medical use is a drug. As it stands, the FDA has not yet approved any CBD products other than one prescription drug product to treat rare forms of epilepsy.


Are CBD Products Legal?


The legal status of CBD is rather vague, and at the moment the federal government has chosen not to interfere with existing interstate commerce. Outside of states where CBD is sold in shops, consumers can obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license.

The government’s position on CBD depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. CBD products derived from hemp are not considered controlled narcotics, but the same is not true for CBD products derived from marijuana plants and contain more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis.

In the U.S., there is only one federally certified, pharmaceutical-grade grower and processor of cannabis. Other manufacturers and suppliers of cannabis and CBD products are subject to attack for failing to meet quality and product supply standards.

Of course, the states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana have their own established standards and guidelines. States have created a legal and regulatory patchwork across the country. With many state laws open to interpretation and the legal status of new cannabis products in flux, consumer safety and product liability attorneys have worked diligently across state lines to build CBD class action claims against negligent CBD defendants.

Consumer safety attorneys and product liability lawyers are currently arguing cases based on various legal theories, including false advertising, illegal mislabeling claims, deceptive marketing, product defects, contaminated products, unfair business practices, and personal injury. CBD class action lawsuits seek rightful compensation for plaintiffs and substantial punitive damages.


CBD Product Contamination & Toxic Exposure


A large portion of cannabis oil imported into the U.S. is produced in emerging markets where safe manufacturing practices and cannabis regulations are underdeveloped. Imported CBD products may be contaminated with lead, arsenic, pesticides and other toxins. Many consumers may not even be aware that the CBD products they are purchasing are made abroad.

Companies that sell to American consumers have a duty to establish safe manufacturing and quality assurance programs. CBD vendors that simply choose to trust their product suppliers are liable for any injury that results from a contaminated or defective product.

In 2019, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued a warning to medical marijuana and CBD product users that stated contaminated products can cause coughing, wheezing, pulmonary dysfunction, abnormal heart rate and blood vessel damage.

Companies manufacturing or supplying CBD products are urged to establish proper testing protocols in order to accurately test for safe levels of heavy metals, pesticides and other impurities.


CBD Consumer Health Risks


Safety profiles for CBD products are still being established, and products will vary with the levels of THC and CBD included in a particular product. As with prescription medications, children are more susceptible than adults to drug-related effects.

Whether a cannabis product is ingested as a pill, liquid, vapor, cream or in edible food form, there are potential health risks. Scientists believe the route of exposure (inhalation vs. consumption) significantly impacts the dose delivered.

Thousands of vaping-related illnesses in the United States have concerned consumer safety advocates and FDA officials. The health risks of vaping any cannabis or nicotine products are currently under review. The FDA has warned consumers to refrain from vaping any unregulated product while health experts ascertain what causes vaping-related respiratory illness.


Cannabis Marketing & Mislabeling Lawsuits


There continues to be concern that some people wrongly think that all of the CBD products on the market have been evaluated by the FDA and determined to be safe. There is a growing consumer sentiment that using CBD “can’t hurt,” though studies have not been conducted widely enough to support this claim.

From the consumer safety perspective, there is too little known about the health effects of cannabis and CBD products to make far-reaching health benefit claims. CBD class action lawsuits have targeted companies that engage in product mislabeling schemes, false advertising and deceptive marketing campaigns.

No product containing cannabis or cannabis derived materials can be marketed as a drug dietary supplement or food product without FDA approval. Furthermore, companies cannot legally market CBD and cannabis products with health benefit claims.

Plaintiffs and attorneys claim companies must demonstrate product transparency as consumers have a right to know about the safety and efficacy of CBD and cannabis products.

Any company who makes unsubstantiated health benefit claims about their products risk false advertising legal backlash. Some companies have even stated their products may help prevent cancer, dementia and Alzheimer’s, all claims without established medical evidence.

Currently, it is a legal risk for companies to make detailed statements about their CBD product’s safety and efficacy. Most have not been studied over the long term, and there is no private or public database that gathers adverse events reports for CBD products.

Due to the lack of regulation and the sheer number of new consumer CBD products released each year, class action litigation is expected to grow in the near term.

Several federal class action lawsuits have been filed against CBD manufacturers and sellers, alleging that the vendors are violating state consumer protection laws. Plaintiffs have filed individual vaping illness lawsuits, deceptive advertising claims, as well as class action product liability suits.

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Questions About Class Action Lawsuits

What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A Class Action is a lawsuit brought by an individual on behalf of all other similarly situated individuals. Rule 23 of the Federal and State Rules of Civil Procedure allows for Class Action lawsuits to resolve disputes in an efficient format.

Class Actions are typically filed when the amount of money in dispute for a single plaintiff would not justify litigating the case, but where the amount of damages of the entire class of Plaintiffs would justify the cost of litigation. Without class actions, large corporate defendants would be able to cause small amounts of harm over a large group of individuals without any risk of monetary penalty.

What is the difference between a Class Action & a Mass Tort?

A Class Action lawsuit involves a large group of people that have experienced extremely similar outcomes. Because the cases must meet the strict guidelines of the Class Action, they are presented under one plaintiff. 

In a Mass Tort, individual experiences may vary. Even though a large number of people have been affected, the variations from case to case are more broad than a class action. In a Mass Tort each plaintiff is represented independently, though in most instances there is still a set of general criteria to meet.

What are the requirements?

In order for a case to be certified as a Class Action, the Court must determine that the case is appropriate for class action treatment under Rule 23. There are different elements depending on whether the case is seeking monetary or injunctive relief. In general, the Court must find the following elements are satisfied:

  • Numerosity: The proposed class must be so numerous that simply joining the individual plaintiffs would be impractical. Generally, the class size should exceed 100 individuals.
  • Common Questions of Law or Fact: The facts and/or legal questions in the dispute must be common to all class members. This does not mean all facts or issues must be identical, but the primary facts and law that will determine the issue in dispute must be common among all class members.
  • Typicality: The named Plaintiff in the case must have the same facts and legal issues as the class they are proposing to represent. If the Plaintiff’s individual case involves issues of fact or law unique to that Plaintiff and are irrelevant to the ultimate issue, class certification may be denied by the Court.
  • Plaintiff/Counsel Adequately Represents the Class: The Court must find that the Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s Counsel are competent and will protect the class’ interests.
  • Predominance: Common questions of fact predominate over individual facts.
  • Superiority: The Class Action is a more efficient and fair means of resolving the dispute. The Court will look at the following factors when making this determination: (1) Class Member interest in maintaining a separate action; (2) the extent of any litigation already begun by other class members; (3) desirability or undesirability of litigating the case in a particular Court ; (4) difficulties in managing the class.
What counts as a class action?

Medical Device Litigation, Pharmaceutical Litigation, and other toxic tort litigation is not appropriate for Class Action treatment. Specifically, cases that involve injuries to the parties contain too many individual facts in terms of the science and causation to find that the common issues predominate over the individual facts.

On the other hand, complex litigation that impacts many individuals and contain common questions of fact related to the conduct of the defendant are often appropriate for mass tort consolidation. Mass Tort consolidation in federal multi-district litigation or a State mass tort docket, allows the parties to utilize the efficiency of class action litigation through the discovery process but still allows the parties to litigate their cases individually on the critical issues of whether the conduct caused the alleged injuries.

While our human bodies are very similar, each individual’s body may have reacted differently to the toxic exposure that makes Class Action treatment inappropriate in most personal injury lawsuits.

Some toxic tort areas that may be beneficial for class action lawsuits can involve environmental contamination. When companies are negligent and contaminate large swaths of private property. Public nuisance lawsuits have been filed against negligent agricultural operations of fracking companies.

Why Hire the Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Class Action Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Class Action lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world

Your Right to Justice

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Filing Class Action lawsuits is a complex and serious legal course and can carry monetary sanctions if proper legal course is not followed. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to assisting injured plaintiffs work toward a financial solution to assist in compensating for medical expenses or other damages sustained.

We work with law firms across the country to provide the most resources possible and to build your case into a valuable settlement. The current legal environment is favorable for consumers involved in data breach class actions, deceptive marketing lawsuits, TCPA telemarketing claims, and financial negligence claims.

Recent Class Action Cases

We work with law firms across the country to provide the most resources possible and to build your case into a valuable settlement. 

Ohio Data Breach & Privacy Lawsuits

Invasion of privacy law has been established to protect consumers and citizens of the United States. When companies are negligent and fail to protect consumer information, which can be used in malicious ways, victims can contact a class action attorney to represent them in class action data breach lawsuits. A number of privacy breach and data breach claims have been settled by The Lyon Firm and other consumer protection lawyers around the country.

Consumer Protection Class Action

Consumers have rights in the USA, and when companies do not provide a service they have promised, or hold up their end of a bargain, legal action may be necessary. Consumer protection attorneys work on your behalf to hold companies responsible for providing a fair and safe service.

The Lyon Firm has worked with law firms nationwide in consumer class actions involving deceptive marketing, false advertising, food mislabeling and misleading marketing claims.

TCPA Robocall Class Actions

TCPA lawsuits have become one of the most common kinds of legal claims. The TCPA Act provides privacy protection for consumers by restricting how companies and organizations can contact you by telephone. Robocall harassment and unfair debt collection has been a serious issue that has required lawsuits in order to keep telemarketing companies at bay.

If you have experienced telephone harassment by a bank, real estate company, hotel, political campaign or anyone else, you may have TCPA claim. The Lyon Firm works diligently to seek compensation for those harassed at their home or work.

Ohio Wage and Hour Lawsuits

Class action wage and hour lawsuits are always ongoing, as some employers fail to treat employees properly, and attempt to cut workers out of earned wages. Wage theft lawsuits can be valuable for a class of plaintiffs who believes their employer has cheated them out of overtime pay and other earned wages.

There have been several wage theft lawsuits and settlements that have compensated employees for the wages they have earned, as well as damages for emotional distress and punitive damages when an employer is negligent in treating workers in accordance to Ohio labor law.

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