DECEPTIVE MARKETING


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The largest companies in America spend billions on in-depth advertising campaigns to market their products to consumers. Consumer advocates and consumer protection attorneys have long been questioning some marketing tactics, which can be perceived as false advertising, meant to mislead consumers about a particular product.

Many products are marketed to greatly assist the consumer and even to improve health, but in some cases, a product may have the opposite effect.

Several products may fall under the pretense of being advertised in a deceptive way. Federal and state laws protect the consumer against false advertising and deceptive marketing, but there is a lack of enforcement and much gray area. A deceptive advertising lawyer may be able to handle your case and may be part of a larger class action false advertising lawsuit.

Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati, Ohio class action attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in false advertising and deceptive marketing lawsuits. 


Types of Deceptive Marketing


Class action consumer protection lawsuits have been filed against a wide range of companies across several industries that aim to deceive American consumers.

A successful false advertising claim may be filed by a plaintiffs and their deceptive advertising lawyer, and corporations can be held liable for their widespread deception. The Lyon Firm handles cases in the following practice areas:


Deceptive Food Marketing


American consumers are bombarded with advertisements each and every day, and should not be expected to filter the true and honest marketing from the deceptive campaigns.

Food mislabeling has been a hot topic in recent years, and several lawsuits have been filed against large brands, like Kellogg’s Cheez-It “whole grain” claims, and LaCroix water’s “all-natural” claims.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that “natural” means “nothing artificial or synthetic, including all color additives.” Unfortunately, food companies are using terms like “organic” and “natural” in an irresponsible way, to sway consumers toward a product that is not exactly healthy.

In 2013, General Mills Inc. settled a lawsuit over their Fruit Roll-Ups snack food over allegations of deceptive food marketing. A California federal judge ruled against the food giant, stating the marketing claim “made with real fruit” incorrectly described the product.

This is only one example of food and beverage companies misleading consumers with unhealthy, and potentially damaging products. The top food and beverage companies in the United States, including the organic and natural food companies, spend billions of dollars each year in advertising, much of it full of untruths.


Mislabeled Food & False Advertising


The organic food industry in particular preys on the fear of consumers. Food marketing campaigns commonly use terms like the following:

•    Farm fresh
•    Natural
•    Naturally sweetened
•    Organic
•    Healthy
•    Gluten-free


But these words appear on the packaging of many processed, unhealthy foods. Some companies also pad ingredient lists with tiny amounts of nice-sounding ingredients.

A “fruit product” may not contain any fruit at all. Even juices labelled “100% natural” could be little more nutritious than a soda. Some of the lowest quality products called “juice” hardly contain any fruit juice at all.


“Natural” and “Organic” Foods


The majority of people believe that organic foods are healthier than food grown using conventional methods. Because of this, the organic and natural-products industry is worth an estimated $63 billion worldwide. But is it worth it?

One Stanford University study concluded there is no evidence that organic foods are more nutritious, nor do they lead to better health for consumers. The study’s lead researcher, Dena Bravata wrote, “There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods.”

Studies indicate that most organic farmers also use pesticides. Statements by the Organic Trade Association admit that an “organic label” does not always ensure a “safer product.”

In fact, packaged products indicating they are “made with organic” ingredients can include up to 30 percent non-organic ingredients. For products with the USDA “organic” label, there are about 200 non-organic substances producers can to add to food without sacrificing the organic claim.

study published by the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that “evidence is lacking for nutrition-related health effects that result from the consumption of organically produced foodstuffs.”


Deceptive Marketing Lawsuits


Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responding to several citizen petitions asking that the agency to define “natural” on food labels.
Previously, the FDA published a statement saying “natural” means “nothing artificial or synthetic, including all color additives.”

But this is still too broad a definition. As of now, there are foods on the market containing high fructose corn syrup that are legally labeled as “natural.”


Carcinogens in “Natural” Products


The Quaker Oats Company was under scrutiny for its “100% Natural” label on their oatmeal products, which were found with traces of glyphosate.
Consumers in New York and California have filed a lawsuit against the popular oatmeal producer, claiming that the use of glyphosate constitutes deceptive marketing and invalidates claims made by Quaker Oats, which imply that their products are free from man-made ingredients.

According to a recent report released by the Alliance for Natural Health USA, traces of the dangerous herbicide glyphosate were found in many common breakfast foods.

Such contaminated food included oatmeal, bagels, corn flakes, yogurt, frozen hash browns, and coffee creamers. High levels of glyphosate were detected in eggs marketed as “organic,” “cage-free,” or “antibiotic-free.” Glyphosate is a chemical used commonly as a weed killer. Last year, the World Health Organization’s cancer experts linked it to cancer. They classify glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.


Herbal Supplement Mislabeling


The dietary supplement industry is a very profitable one–a billion-dollar industry–though a contentious one in the legal arena. Many dietary supplements have been called into question regarding both their effectiveness and their false advertising schemes. High-profile cases involve:


Some supplements make big claims about health benefits with very little evidence to support those claims. On top of that, many are mislabeled and leave out ingredients on their labels, leading to possible class action mislabeling lawsuits.

CBD oil products are very popular, and the hype has led to FDA to investigate several companies selling CBD products with huge health benefit claims that may be false or misleading.

Herbal supplements and dietary supplements sold at major outlets  like protein mixes, Gingko Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Garlic, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto, and Valerian Root have been tested by third-party labs. The results are less-then-desirable for consumers, and many feel like they have been deceived by supplement manufacturers and distributors.

The majority of the products tested did not contain the herbs they were supposed to, or did not contain the amount they had listed on the label.  Major retailers named in class action mislabeling lawsuits include:

  • GNC
  • Walmart
  • Walgreens
  • Target

False Drug Advertising


Drug kickback schemes have been identified by federal authorities and whistleblowers in the healthcare industry. The health industry is built on profits, and drug companies will do almost anything to sell their products and please their shareholders, including failing to properly test drugs before they hit the market, engage in kickback schemes, downplay the risks of pharmaceuticals, and offer false drug advertising to the public.

False drug advertising, and “me too” pharmaceutical marketing campaigns are damaging for the consuming public. Through an analysis by ProPublica, it has recently been found that many top-promoted pharmaceutical products are not actually the best sellers or most effective products of their kind on the market. Many supplements are touted to be the best thing a consumer has ever bought, and may only be harmful in the end.

Deceptive marketing lawsuits aim to discourage companies from selling drugs and supplements without good reason. Consumers deserve protection, and taking legal action can compensate victims and punish negligent corporations when they employ false drug advertising tactics.


False Advertising Settlements


When companies engage in deceptive marketing tactics and misrepresent their products to the public, they may be held liable for false advertising and targeted in class action mislabeling lawsuits by plaintiffs and their consumer protection and false advertising lawyer.

In recent years, consumer advocates and product liability lawyers have held companies accountable for unscrupulous marketing practices that aim to confuse the consumer and misrepresent a product by intentionally mislabeling. Such business practice may result in class action mislabeling lawsuits, with large settlements and verdicts seen across the country.

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Why are these cases important?

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.

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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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