Welcome back! Our latest issue takes a look at a handful of cases involving two common themes – companies failing to properly advertise their services and unwanted ingredients that have been shown to be carcinogenic. First up, dating app Bumble is being sued over claims it misled users regarding the benefits of its premium services, while Terminix is taking some heat over its alleged failure to issue proper refunds. As far as potential carcinogens are concerned, a certain Coppertone sunscreen has been added to the growing list of products said to be plagued by the presence of benzene, and McCormick is facing litigation over the levels of toxic heavy metals allegedly found in its herbs and spices. Keep reading for these stories and the latest in class action settlements.
If you’re not familiar, dating apps tend to offer paid premium features intended to increase a user’s chance of scoring a “match.” For Bumble, these products are known as Spotlights and SuperSwipes – but a recently filed lawsuit is claiming that these features provide no discernable benefit for most users. While the prospect of “up to 10x” more matches and conversations sounds like a solid deal, the case holds that Bumble has greatly exaggerated the benefits of its paid features. The suit goes on to state that SuperSwipes may even adversely affect a user’s chance of matching with someone given that the feature indicates to potential matches that the user has spent “a lot of money” to make a good first impression. You can find more information on the case over on our blog.
While it should go without saying that ingredients like lead, arsenic and cadmium aren’t the sort of things we want in our herbs and spices, it looks like it may take a lawsuit to get the message across to McCormick. According to the case, a November 2021 report found that a number of herbs and spices across several brands had been contaminated with toxic heavy metals that have been linked to cancer and other serious health issues. But while other companies in the industry have adapted to limit the amount of heavy metals in their products, McCormick has “stood idly by with a reckless disregard for its consumers’ health and well-being,” the suit says. The specific McCormick products alleged to contain heightened amounts of toxic heavy metals include the company’s ground basil, ground ginger, ground oregano, paprika, ground thyme and ground turmeric, according to the complaint. Want more? You can read up on all the details here.
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Come springtime, many of us will be looking for ways to keep the pests outside with the warmer weather. But, buyer beware: a recently filed lawsuit is claiming that one company that provides services for such matters, Terminix, has been unlawfully retaining fees under contracts that have been canceled. The case says that while Terminix contracts can be canceled at any time, such as if a consumer were to sell their home, the company fails to refund customers for the unused time remaining on their service agreements and retains the leftover money as “undue profit.” This will be a case to keep an eye on if you canceled your Terminix contract prior to the expiration of its term and did not receive a prorated refund within the last five years. For more, you can read up on all the details here.
Over the past several months, we’ve seen a tidal wave of cases filed over the presence of benzene in sunscreen products. Neutrogena and Banana Boat are among those already involved in lawsuits, but this latest case takes issue with Coppertone’s Defend and Care Whipped Ultra Hydrate SPF 50 sunscreen and its alleged contamination with benzene. According to the case, consumers who purchased the Coppertone product were never warned that it could contain the “incredibly dangerous” substance and have lost the benefit of their bargain since the product is unsafe for use and “entirely worthless” due to its contamination with benzene. Head over to this page for more.
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