A proposed class action alleges Henkel Corporation has misled consumers by labeling 100-fluid ounce (fl. oz.) bottles of Persil Pro Clean as containing enough liquid laundry detergent for 64 loads, when most users will find that the actual number of loads they can complete is significantly lower.
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The 22-page case says that appearing next to the prominent front-label claim that each bottle contains enough detergent for “64 Loads” of laundry is a “not-so-obvious, tiny” cross-shaped symbol that corresponds with fine-print on the product’s back label. Although the back of the container specifies that users can do 64 “regular” loads of laundry with a bottle of Persil Pro Clean liquid laundry detergent, consumers must search a “multi-step maze” of fine-print to learn that this is possible only if they fill the cap to the first line each time, the lawsuit says.
According to the case, the “measuring” section of the product’s rear-side label instructs consumers to fill the cap to “Line 1,” or 1.56 fl. Oz., for “regular” loads and to “Line 2,” or 2.5 fl. oz., for “large” loads.
“Because a laundry washing machine cannot be filled beyond full capacity, ‘large’ loads, as the Product employs the term, must mean full loads of laundry,” the suit says. “That being the case, it logically follows that a ‘[regular]’ load is something less than a full load of laundry.”
The complaint contends that the “vast majority” of consumers prefer to do full loads of laundry and reasonably expect the label claim at issue to mean that they can wash 64 full loads, not 64 half-loads.
The filing claims that, in reality, one bottle of Persil Pro Clean liquid laundry detergent allows consumers to complete, at most, 40 full loads. As such, representing that the product can provide enough detergent for 64 loads is contrary to the average buyer’s expectations and therefore “false, deceptive, and misleading,” the complaint contends.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in Missouri, Illinois, Maryland, Hawaii, New York, Washington D.C., Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington or Connecticut who purchased Persil Pro Clean liquid laundry detergent within the past five years.
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