Class Action False Advertising Lawsuit Against Protein Powder Brand Will Move Forward
According to a report from Courthouse News Service, a federal court will allow a class action false advertising claim against a protein powder manufacturer to proceed. The lawsuit alleges that Reliance Vitamin—a New Jersey company that makes a protein powder ‘PlantFusion’—deliberately misled consumers about the quantity that they were receiving. Here, our Miami deceptive trade practices lawyers discuss the allegations, where the case stands, and how Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) applies to false advertising claims.
Allegations: Protein Powder Manufacturer Deceived Customers About Quantity of Product
A California federal judge has advanced a class action against Reliance Vitamin, the producer of PlantFusion vegan protein supplements, over allegations of misleading consumers with their packaging. The suit claims that the company uses “slack-fill” marketing practices, filling their opaque jars only halfway with unnecessary empty space.
Slack-fill packaging refers to the empty space within a product’s packaging that is not occupied by the actual product. While some slack-fill is necessary for various reasons, such as protecting the product during transportation or accommodating for settling of contents, non-functional slack-fill is excessive and serves no practical purpose. Non-functional slack-fill packaging can be considered false advertising when it is intentionally used to deceive consumers.
The Class Action False Advertising Claim Was Initially Dismissed, But May Not Proceed
Initially dismissed, U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick III found that the amended complaint may indicate that Reliance Vitamin violated reasonable consumer standards and misrepresented their product. California resident Taylor Costa brought forth the claims, which include violations of unfair competition, false advertising, warranty laws, and fraudulent misrepresentations. While Reliance Vitamin argued that the slack-fill was functional and that the jars’ labeling provided accurate serving information, Judge Orrick deemed it potentially deceptive and ruled that the container size may lead to unfair competition with other protein powder brands. As such, litigation on the matter will be allowed to move forward. Whether or not the slack filled packaging used by the company constitutes false advertising is an issue for a jury.
False Advertising May Be Legally Actionable Under the FDUTPA
If you’ve fallen victim to false advertising, you have legal recourse under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA). It is a state law that safeguards consumers like you from misleading and deceptive tactics, including false claims made in ads. Companies that violate the FDUTPA can face serious consequences, such as fines, injunctions, and even civil lawsuits. As Florida’s FDUTPA has a private-right-of-action, you can file a lawsuit to recover damages for false advertising without waiting for regulators to take action on your behalf.
Contact Our Florida Deceptive Trade Practices Attorneys Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our South Florida deceptive trade practices attorneys have the skills and legal experience to take on the full spectrum of false advertising cases. If you have any specific questions or concerns about a claim under the FDUTPA, we are here as a legal resource Contact our Miami office or our West Palm Beach office today for a confidential initial appointment.