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Consumer Fraud Archives

Criminal outcome against drug maker harsh, civil suit even more so

Drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen took a painful punch last year as the defendant in a federal criminal lawsuit. The company was slapped with a $260 million criminal fine after pleading guilty to fraud-related charges in litigation filed by the federal government.

HP to Settle Cartridge Monopoly Class Action For $1.5 Million

In a settlement proposed on September 18, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Hewlett Packard Co. ("HP" or the "Company") agreed to pay a class of printer consumers $1.5 million to resolve claims that HP caused phony error messages to pop up when consumers used third-party ink cartridges.

Trade Joe's Agrees to $1.3 Million Settlement in Tuna Can Suit

On September 14, 2018, the proposed class in a suit against Trader Joe's asked the United States District Court for the Central District of California to give preliminary approval to a $1.3 million settlement. The proposed class action alleged the grocery store chain under-filled five-ounce cans of tuna, and class members say the payout, which comes to $29 per claim, is adequate and fair when compared to the price of the cans of tuna.

Class of Muscle Milk Consumers Wins Partial Certification In Misleading Label Case

On September 7, 2018, California federal District Court Judge M. James Lorenz granted partial certification to a nationwide class and subclasses of Muscle Milk purchasers in California, Florida, and Michigan who alleged the product's label exaggerates the nutritional benefit of the protein supplement.

Consumers of Kona Beer Request Class Certification In False Advertising Suit

During a hearing on September 6, 2018, counsel for California consumers of Kona Brewing Co. ("Kona" or the "Company") beer accused the Company of misleading purchasers into believing its beer is made in Hawaii, when it is actually brewed on the mainland in Colorado, Oregon, and Tennessee.

Hitachi Automotive and Mitsubishi Agree to $23 Million Settlement in Multi-District Price-Fixing Litigation

Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd. ("Hitachi") and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation ("Mitsubishi") have agreed to pay a combined sum of more than $23 million to settle claims filed in Michigan federal court alleging that they participated in an extensive, global price-fixing conspiracy involving ignition coils, alternators, and starters.

Regulators stress their balanced approach to fraud ID/punishment

A recent Wall Street Journal article duly notes that the Trump administration has taken some hits from consumer advocates. One chief complaint alleges its policy of pulling back on protective measures that guard against financial fraud via a clearly friendly business stance that undermines consumer safeguards.

Ben & Jerry's Sued for False "Happy Cows" Marketing

On July 9, 2018, the Organic Consumers Association ("OCA") filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc. ("Ben & Jerry's" or the "Company") and its parent company. The national nonprofit consumer advocacy group accused the ice cream manufacturer of advertising that its product is sourced from "happy cows" in "caring dairies," when the milk is actually purchased from inhumane factory farms.