On August 24, 2022, the California Attorney General’s Office announced a settlement with Sephora, Inc. (Sephora), a French multinational personal care and beauty products retailer. The settlement resolved Sephora’s alleged violations of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) for allegedly failing to: disclose to consumers that the company was selling their personal information, process user requests to opt out of sale via user-enabled global privacy controls, and cure these violations within the 30-day period currently allowed by the CCPA.

Continue Reading $1.2 Million CCPA Settlement with Sephora Focuses on Sale of Personal Information and Global Privacy Controls

New parents have their hands full. Baby bouncy seats and swings offer busy caregivers a way to put an infant down but still allow him or her to see and interact with the surrounding environment. But recent recalls have led parents to think twice before going hands free.

On August 15, 2022, 4moms and the CPSC announced a recall of more than two million 4moms MamaRoo Baby Swings (versions 1.0  – 4.0) and over 220,000 RockaRoo Baby Rockers sold in the U.S. and Canada. According to the announcement, the restraint straps on the 4moms MamaRoo Baby Swing and RockaRoo Baby Rocker can dangle below the seat when the product is not in use, posing a strangulation hazard to crawling infants. On August 29, 2022, residents from North Carolina and South Carolina sued Thorley Industries, LLC (d/b/a 4moms) on behalf of nationwide class of purchasers of the recalled products in federal court in Pennsylvania.

Continue Reading Litigation Recall Report: Nationwide Lawsuit Follows 4moms Recall of MamaRoo Baby Swing and RockaRoo Baby Rockers

With the end of the fiscal year approaching, the FTC has been busy issuing multiple reports, plans, and resolutions related to its various powers and obligations, including a report to Congress on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). This story and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (August 22-26, 2022)

In the recent article, “Facebook and Google settled biometrics lawsuits. Look for more.” featured in Crain’s Chicago Business, Partner Jason Stiehl analyzes wider repercussions of Snapchat’s recent settlement after accusations that it used facial recognition technology that collected and stored users’ biometric information without consent. Stiehl explains that he expects more litigation due to Illinois’ law restricting how firms collect and store user data.

Stiehl provides insight on how companies can protect themselves as new technologies emerge, specifically in the retail space. He provides an example of “try-on” cases where people can try on clothing in virtual dressing rooms and technology captures biometric data. He explains, “I think companies are starting to realize that (try-on cases are) a real risk.”

Read more from Crain’s Chicago Business here (subscription required).

Consumer-driven lawsuits that follow product recalls often focus on what the manufacturer knew and when, bringing a host of fraud-based common law and statutory claims. Sometimes lawsuits go a different route, insisting that companies should warn consumers about every possible complication that could result from the products they manufacture, no matter how remote. A new class action against Lyons Magnus, in Catalono v. Lyons Magnus, LLC, No. 7:22-cv-06867 (S.D.N.Y filed Aug. 11, 2022), is one such case.

In July and August, Lyons Magnus voluntarily recalled 90 of its nutritional beverage products due to possible bacterial contamination from Cronobacter sakazakii and Clostridium botulinum, which can cause food poisoning, fever, and/or urinary tract infection, and in very severe cases, respiratory paralysis and death. And on August 11, 2022, a New York resident sued Lyons Magnus on behalf of nationwide and New York classes of purchasers of the recalled products.

Continue Reading Litigation Recall Report: Nationwide Lawsuit Follows Lyons Magnus Recall of Contaminated Products

The FTC released its policy paper and fact sheet urging state legislatures to avoid using Certificate of Public Advantage (“COPA”) laws and instead invited state lawmakers to work collaboratively with competition policy experts to minimize the potentially harmful effects of further hospital consolidation. This follows that Agency’s recent blocking of a number of healthcare provider mergers, emphasizing the Commission’s focus on preventing what it considers anticompetitive hospital mergers. The Agency also announced that it will be sending out checks totaling more than $822,000 to borrowers that lost money to a student loan debt-relief scheme. These stories after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (August 15-19, 2022)

The FTC unveiled its Proposed Rule on Commercial Surveillance and Data Security. The Commission relied on the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act and the Made in USA Labeling Rule to refer a complaint against personal protective equipment (“PPE”) and light fixture manufacturers. The case marks the second time the FTC has used the Made in the USA Labeling Rule to target companies for allegedly deceptive claims. Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya spoke at the National Association of Attorneys General Presidential Summit on technology threats to consumer protection. These stories and more after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (August 8-12, 2022)

The FTC announced two victories in separate actions against Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”) companies and secured more than $17 million for consumers. In the two cases, the FTC has alleged that California-based Glowyy and Louisiana-based American Screening each failed to deliver PPE products within promised time periods during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the FTC announced a new action and consent agreement against online homebuying firm Opendoor Labs, Inc. for allegedly misleading claims about the benefits of its service. Last, the Commission is sending checks totaling more than $1 million to 1,966 consumers who were harmed by a debt collection scam. These stories and more after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (August 1-5, 2022)

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