In the article, “H&M class action: what lawyers told us”, featured in Apparel Insider, Partner Jason Stiehl commented on a recent class action complaint filed against H&M over its use of Higg Sustainability labels and its justification to charge premium prices for sustainable clothing. Stiehl provided insight on the importance to tighten internal systems for regulators and ESG investors, claiming that, “Companies should ensure that internal or outside counsel reviews marketing claims (as well as those placed in any consumer-facing document) when making statements in the sustainability and broader ESG space.” Read more from Apparel Insider here.

For more information on ESG risks and opportunities, visit Crowell’s ESG Resource Center. In addition to articles and on-demand webinars, the resource center includes a downloadable survey on emerging challenges facing supply chain, advertising, and monitoring. 

It is impossible to deny the convenience of having pre-made or ready-to-make meals delivered to your doorstep. Daily Harvest, which launched in 2015, has cornered the market on ready-to-eat, “actually healthy” meal delivery. Recently, however, a recent recall of one of its products after consumers fell ill, has led to several lawsuits against the company.

On June 17th, Daily Harvest initiated a voluntary recall after consumers reported adverse reactions after eating the “French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.” After an investigation, Daily Harvest announced that the source of the problem was tara flour, which is one of the ingredients. Just a short while later, on June 27th, a New York resident filed a putative class action lawsuit against Daily Harvest, Peni v. Daily Harvest, 1:22-cv-05443 (S.D.N.Y. filed June 27, 2022), alleging that she bought and consumed the French Lentil + Leek Crumbles and then “became violently ill with gastrointestinal illness and was hospitalized” for “fever, nausea, extreme abdominal pain, chills and joint pain,” which led in the removal of her gallbladder. The plaintiff seeks to assert strict liability, breach of express and implied warranties, and negligence claims against the company on behalf of a Nationwide and New York subclasses of persons who suffered “gastrointestinal illness” as a result of Daily Harvest’s French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.

Continue Reading Litigation Recall Report: Daily Harvest Sued After Recall of French Lentil + Leek Crumbles

In the recent article, “Why Hermès’ MetaBirkins Lawsuit Has High Stakes for Brands and Creators”, featured in The Business of Fashion, Partner Preetha Chakrabarti expands upon her insights from the her previous blog posts on non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) and the metaverse. Previously, Chakrabarti reported on how the designer, Hermès, sued an individual named Mason Rothschild in the Southern District of New York for his creation and sale of “Metabirkins,” which are NFTs that resembled fur-covered versions of Hermès’ iconic Birkin bag.

In this most recent article, she touches on the lingering legal questions regarding metaverse copyright regulations and how brands can protect their intellectual property in digital worlds. She states, “It definitely does signal that activity in the metaverse may very well be regulated similar to activity in the real world, in our physical universe.” This analysis is especially timely after the Supreme Court agreed to hear whether NFTs can qualify as artistic expression, scheduled in October.

Read more from The Business of Fashion here (subscription required).

The FTC made a big splash this week when it filed an injunction to block Meta from buying a virtual reality company, arguing that the acquisition was anticompetitive. This filing follows Chair Khan’s comments at the April 2022 Antitrust and Competition Conference focusing on mergers as an enforcement priority, and her view that agency inaction is worse than the risk of agency backlash. This story and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (July 25-29, 2022)

The FTC joined with the National Labor Relations Board in order to bolster efforts to protect workers against anticompetitive and unfair practices. It also announced a $25 million refund to U.S. and international consumers that were allegedly defrauded by a sweepstakes scheme. And for the first time in FTC history, the Commission brought an action under the Military Lending Act against a Jewelry company that allegedly mislead military families. These stories and more after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (July 18-22, 2022)

The FTC had another light week as the Commission celebrated the anniversary of President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. The Associate Director of the FTC’s Division of Financial Practices testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security about the FTC’s efforts to address fraud against the military community. These stories and more after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (July 11-15, 2022)

Peanut butter has been a staple of the American diet for well over 100 years, but it is rarely newsworthy. That changed recently after J.M. Smucker Co. (“Smucker”) pulled some of its famous Jif-brand peanut butter products from shelves across the country.

In mid-May, Smucker recalled several varieties of  Jif peanut butter as a result of potential salmonella contamination after customers reported illnesses in several states. Shortly after the recall, on May 25, South Carolina resident, John Kraljevich filed a putative class action lawsuit in Kentucky, Kraljevich v. The J.M. Smucker Company, No. 5:22-cv-00134-GFVT (E.D. Ky. filed May 25, 2022). Although plaintiff Kraljevich does not allege that he contracted salmonella or was ever sick after consuming Jif peanut butter, he alleges that he would not have purchased these products if he had known about the contamination and as a result, he and other purchasers suffered economic loss. Plaintiff Kraljevich asserts claims for breach of warranty, negligence, strict liability, fraud, unjust enrichment, and punitive damages on behalf of himself as well as nationwide and South Carolina classes of purchasers of the recalled products.

Continue Reading Recall Litigation Report: J.M. Smucker Co. Faces Class Action Suits Following Jif Peanut Butter Recall

On July 7, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) announced it is acting against grill manufacturer Weber-Stephen Products, LLC, arguing that Weber’s warranties illegally restrict consumers’ right-to-repair. The Weber complaint is the third salvo in the FTC’s recent string of right-to-repair administrative complaints, after issuing two similar complaints against Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group, LLC and MWE Investments, LLC mere weeks prior. The FTC’s recent action thus signals that it will continue prioritizing enforcement of tying rules under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act (“MMWA”).

Continue Reading FTC Settles Actions Against Manufacturers for Illegal Repair Restrictions in Warranties

During the week of Independence Day, the FTC announced that it is seeking further public comment on its Amplifier Rule, which requires uniform measurements and disclosures for home entertainment amplifiers. In addition, the FTC initiated a new action against grill maker Weber-Stephen Products, LLC for illegally restricting customers’ right to repair their purchased products.  These stories and more after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (July 5-8, 2022)

Despite imposing onerous new compliance terms, the recently announced Vornado civil penalty was criticized by three commissioners as too low amid their urgent calls for larger penalties in the future. On July 7, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a $7.5 million civil penalty settlement with manufacturer of air circulation products, Vornado Air (Vornado). Vornado agreed to pay the civil penalty to resolve charges that the Company knowingly failed to immediately report allegedly defective electric space heaters to the CPSC under Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). The Commission voted 4-0-1 to provisionally accept the settlement. Notably, three of the agency’s five commissioners published individual statements alongside the agency’s announcement of the penalty, which is atypical. The statements provide product safety stakeholders with insights on how the “new” Commission views civil penalties and its enforcement authority. 

Continue Reading “Wiping the Slate Clean”— CPSC Commissioners Signal Higher Penalties to Come in Wake of Vornado Penalty Resolution