December 6, 2022 – Kirkland Seaweed Snack Class Action Dismissed
The parties handling the proposed class action detailed on this page jointly dismissed the case with prejudice on May 26, 2022.
The one-page order granting the parties’ joint motion to dismiss the case, signed by United States District Judge M. James Lorenz, can be found here. The document does not give a reason as to why the plaintiff and defendant jointly sought to dismiss the lawsuit.
Want to stay in the loop on class actions that matter to you? Sign up for ClassAction.org’s free weekly newsletter here.
A proposed class action alleges Costco Wholesale Corporation has failed to disclose that its Kirkland Organic Roasted Seaweed snack may contain cadmium, perchlorate or other toxins.
According to the 40-page lawsuit, Costco knew or should have known that its seaweed product contained cadmium, a known human carcinogen associated with various health risks, yet failed to sufficiently test the snack and warn consumers of the presence of the heavy metal.
The case claims that consumers, who “lack the scientific knowledge necessary” to determine whether the seaweed snack contains cadmium or other toxins, would not have purchased the Kirkland Organic Roasted Seaweed, or would have paid less for it, had they known about its “true quality and ingredients.”
The lawsuit states that seaweed snacks such as Costco’s private-label Kirkland Signature product have risen in popularity in recent years due to their perceived health benefits. According to the case, edible seaweed has been associated with improved thyroid function, gut health, immunity and cardiovascular and brain health.
The suit claims, however, that ConsumerLab.com tested certain dried seaweed and roasted seaweed snacks in 2021 and found that a single serving contained 6 mcg of cadmium, a non-essential toxic heavy metal and environmental toxin that has “no known beneficial role in the human body,” according to the complaint. Per the case, long-term exposure to cadmium can lead to a build-up of the heavy metal that can cause kidney disease, lung damage and fragile bones. Moreover, the Department of Health and Human Services has classified cadmium as a known human carcinogen, the complaint adds.
The lawsuit alleges that Costco’s Kirkland Organic Roasted Seaweed Snack is deceptively labeled in that it fails to disclose anywhere on the packaging that the product contains or has a significant risk of containing “dangerous heavy metals” such as cadmium. On the other hand, the seaweed snack label emphasizes that the product is organic and made with superior ingredients, according to the suit.
“Based on Defendant’s decision to wholly omit mention of the presence of cadmium, heavy metal and/or other undesirable toxins or contaminants in the Products, and to instead advertise, package, and market their Products as healthy, nutritious, and organic, claims which were bolstered by images of the seaweed snack on the packaging, they had a duty to ensure that these statements and the message portrayed by the packaging’s imagery were true and not misleading,” the lawsuit attests. “As such, Defendant knew or should have known the Products included nondisclosed cadmium, and/or other undesirable toxins or contaminants and that over time, these toxins can accumulate to [consumers’] detriment.”
According to the case, Costco’s failure to disclose the presence of cadmium in its seaweed product was “deceptive, misleading, unfair, and/or false” and allowed the big box retailer to reap “enormous profits” from consumers who paid a premium price for the snack.
The lawsuit, which was recently removed from San Diego County Superior Court to California’s Southern District Court, looks to represent consumers who purchased the Kirkland Organic Roasted Seaweed snack in the U.S. for household or business use (and not for resale) between January 26, 2018 and the date of judgment in the case.
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s newsletter here.
Hair Relaxer Lawsuits
Women who developed ovarian or uterine cancer after using hair relaxers such as Dark & Lovely and Motions may now have an opportunity to take legal action.