Companies Continue to Choose Deception to Protect Profits
When the pandemic hit, companies were obviously worried about their bottom lines – and unfortunately, it seems some of them may have been less than truthful in an attempt to keep profits high. An ongoing investigation is looking to determine if Smithfield Foods can be held accountable for choosing that path and possibly misleading consumers about a meat shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic. From there, Tesla is facing a lawsuit over a potentially dangerous suspension defect, Cottonelle is battling backlash over a recall of flushable wipes, and Tecate beer may actually be made in Holland instead of Mexico. Keep reading for the latest.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are taking a closer look at Smithfield Foods, Inc., a pork producer that made some public statements during the COVID-19 pandemic that may have been just a bit shy of the truth – and may have led consumers to stock up on the company’s meat products when they otherwise might not have done so. In April 2020, Smithfield issued a press release cautioning that a plant closure was bringing the U.S. “perilously close to the edge in the terms of our meat supply.” Despite this statement, Smithfield reportedly sent more than 9,000 tons of pork to China the same month the press release went out, leading some to suspect Smithfield’s warning was simply a ploy to maintain and boost sales throughout the pandemic. On top of that, Smithfield has maintained throughout the coronavirus crisis that it has “fulfilled its responsibility” with regard to worker safety, despite some plant workers reporting that their lives are in danger and thousands testing positive for the virus. Now, attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether Smithfield’s statements were false and misleading and whether consumers may be owed money back as a result. For more on what you can do if you bought meat from Smithfield, head to this page.
Tesla has been accused of “gambling with lives” in a recently filed lawsuit that claims certain Model X and Model S vehicles are plagued by a potentially dangerous suspension problem. According to the lawsuit, Model S and Model X vehicles made between September 2013 and October 2018 suffer from at least one latent defect that can cause the front and rear suspension control arm assembly components to break, loosen, wear and crack prematurely – and if this were to happen during use, it could cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle. The complaint, which cited nearly 80 driver complaints over the issue, goes on to state that Tesla has “actively concealed” the problem in an attempt to preserve the vehicles’ intrinsic and resale value and to avoid paying for a fix. Though the affected vehicles were recalled in China, Tesla has decided to take a different stance in the U.S., stating that the issues that led to the recall overseas were caused by widespread “driver abuse” and not an inherent defect. Want more? You can read up on the lawsuit here.
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A recently filed lawsuit is claiming certain Cottonelle flushable wipes were contaminated with a rare strain of bacteria that can cause symptoms ranging from minor skin irritation to severe infections and that the manufacturer, Kimberley-Clark Corporation, didn’t do enough about it. According to the suit, product testing alerted the company to the presence of Pluralibacter gergoviae, a bacterium that can cause infections that are particularly difficult to diagnose and treat, in some of its regular and “GentlePlus” flushable wipes sold since February. Although Kimberley-Clark recalled the wipes in October 2020, the lawsuit argues that the recall didn’t properly compensate consumers and that Kimberley-Clark’s communications with the public have been “inadequate, ineffective, and seemingly insincere.” Even after the recall, thousands of consumers have “found themselves stuck with contaminated and worthless” wipes and have no guidance as to how they can protect themselves and their families from the risks of using the products, according to the suit. If you bought the recalled wipes, you can find all the details here.
I never knew that Tecate beer wasn’t brewed in Mexico – and according to a proposed class action lawsuit, this is just what Heineken USA Incorporated was going for. The lawsuit claims that Tecate is misleadingly labeled in an effort to convince consumers that the beer (or cerveza, if you will) is an authentic Mexican brew when, in reality, it hails from Holland. Now, there’s a growing market for Mexican beer in the U.S., and potentially due in part to statements like “Born and brewed in the land we are proud to share our name with: Tecate” and “Hecha En Tecate Baja California Mexico,” Tecate has been cemented as one of the most well-known. The suit claims Heineken has deceptively marketed its beer in an attempt to capitalize on growing trends and consumers’ desire for authenticity and argues many may not have purchased the beer had they known the truth. If you’re a fan of Tecate beer, read up on the lawsuit here.
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