When an investor or consumer decides to sue a business, the case may have merits as a class action, but not every case does. After the lawsuit has been filed, the court will consider the case and determine whether it meets the requirements of a class action. If the issues common to members of the class outweigh the issues specific to each member, then a class action can be certified as such.
Recently in New Jersey, a federal judge refused to dismiss a complaint against an exotic fruit juice maker -- MonaVie -- after finding the claims against the company to be plausible. According to the complaint, MonaVie advertised that its fruit juices could cure a variety of illnesses, including heart disease, Alzheimer's and cancer, but the company is unable to deliver the advertised curative results. With the judge's decision, a class action against MonaVie LLC and MonaVie Inc. can move forward.
This isn't the first time the CEO of MonaVie has encountered complaints about misleading advertising. The CEO's former business, Dynamic Essentials, also made a "superfood" drink. The Food and Drug Administration ordered the company to stop manufacturing that product because there was no proof of its therapeutic benefits.
Consumers also claim that the CEO, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, has already said that the juice products do not have any curative effects. However, the complaint states the MonaVie website and a video posted by MonaVie assert that the company's juice products can reverse cancer and help consumers manage ailments such as diabetes, morning sickness and headaches.
Members of the class represented in the lawsuit include all consumers who bought MonaVie juice products starting in 2007 and up to the present. The 25-ounce juice bottles were priced at $40 each. The class action seeks punitive damages for unjust enrichment, fraud and consumer fraud.
If you want to know more about legal issues related to consumer fraud, then please visit our class action overview. Our firm represents clients involved in collective litigation.
Source: Courthouse News Service, "Purported Cure-All Juice Maker Must Face Suit," Rose Bouboushian, Aug. 29, 2014