The $1,612,500 settlement, which received preliminary approval from the court on November 10, 2022, covers all consumers nationwide who bought, for personal use, Barlean’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (16-, 32- or 60-oz.), Barlean’s Culinary/Gourmet Coconut Oil (32- or 60-oz.), or Barlean’s Organic Butter Flavored Coconut Oil (16- or 32-oz.) at any time between January 24, 2015 and November 10, 2022.
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To file a claim, head to this page and enter your contact information. Then, select whether you have proof of purchase, such as a receipt, copy of a receipt, paid invoice or similar documentation, and upload it if applicable. Lastly, select your preferred method of receiving payment and digitally sign the form and hit “Submit.”
Claims must be submitted online or postmarked by January 19, 2023.
According to the settlement site, class members who file a valid claim may receive anywhere from $3 to $7 per unit of the Barlean’s coconut oil they purchased, depending on the size of the product. Consumers who do not have proof of purchase can submit a claim for up to five single containers of the Barlean’s coconut oils highlighted above, while there is no limit for those who have proof of purchase. The amount of money a consumer will recover may be reduced or increased based on the total number of people who file claims for compensation.
The only way to get money from the settlement is by filing a claim. If you do nothing, you will receive no benefits from the settlement and be legally bound by the court’s decision, giving up your right to sue Barlean’s for the claims resolved by the deal.
Money from the settlement will most likely begin to be distributed to those who filed valid claims after the deal receives final approval from the court and any appeals are resolved. A final approval hearing is set for March 3, 2023.
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A proposed class action lawsuit out of California takes issue with Barlean’s allegedly misleading marketing of its coconut oil products as a healthy alternative to butter and other cooking oils. The case claims Barlean’s Organic Oils, LLC, no stranger to deceptive advertising litigation, represents its products as “uniquely healthy saturated fats” when coconut oil “is actually inherently unhealthy, and a less healthy option” to alternatives.
According to the case, Barlean’s praises coconut oil as “Nature’s Most Versatile Superfood” that, as part of “healthy eating,” “boosts the metabolism, supports the heart and immune system and provides quick energy.” In reality, the suit argues, coconut oil is high in saturated fat and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Citing several studies, the lawsuit claims coconut oil “appears to consistently elevate plasma cholesterol” and has an even worse effect on consumers’ health than butter or other fats.
The case argues that Barlean’s, as part of its alleged “scheme,” makes “unauthorized” claims regarding its products’ nutrient content, including that they are “cholesterol free” and contain “no trans fat,” without complying with the FDA’s requirements for nutrient claims.
“Barlean’s is well aware of consumer preference for healthful foods,” the complaint reads, “and therefore employs, and has employed, a strategic marketing campaign intended to convince consumers that the Barlean’s Coconut Oil Products are healthy.”
The three named plaintiffs in the case say they would not have purchased Barlean’s coconut oil products had they known the truth about its health effects.
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