Week Adjourned: 2.5.16 – Victoria’s Secret, Dr. Oz, Bayada

victorias secretTop Class Action Lawsuits

Not so Sexy Texts… For years the prevailing urban myth is that the biggest subscriber base for Victoria’s Secret catalog is men—particularly those that work in isolated environs such as oil rigs, mines—you get the picture. Now, the angel of lingerie (maybe that should be “the god of” ) is facing a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)  class action lawsuit based on allegations the company sent unsolicited text message advertisements.

The Victoria’s Secret texting lawsuit was filed by a man. Love it. Women, I’m not sure, would necessarily mind prompts on this subject—but hey—could be wrong, and—importantly—most women are likely not looking at or for the T&A component. If that’s missing from the spam, then why not file a lawsuit.

I digress.

Here’s the skinny: filed in California by Michael Hannegan, individually and for all others similarly situated, the lawsuit asserts that Victoria’s Secret sent unauthorized text message advertisements to cell phones of consumers across the country, to Hannegan and the others, in violation of the TCPA.

Consequently, Hannegan has suffered an invasion of privacy and incurred costs for the receipt of such wireless spam, the lawsuit states.

Hannegan and others in the class seek an injunction, statutory or actual damages, plus attorney fees and costs. The case is: U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Case number 8:16-CV-00125-JLS-JCG. So if the Angels in B cups have been spamming you—you better get on it!

Pulling Back the Curtain on Oz? Ok, you knew this was coming—at some point it just had to. Dr. Oz got hit with a consumer fraud class action lawsuit this week, as well as Labrada Bodybuilding Nutrition Inc., alleging claims that weight loss products made by the defendants are false and misleading. If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck…

The sorta short read—the suit was filed by Vera Woodard of California, in which she asserts she was tricked into buying a number of nutritional products sold by former bodybuilding champion Lee Labrada’s company, because they contained “magic ingredients” purported to be “revolutionary fat busters” by Dr. Mehmet C. Oz during his daytime talk show. (Quack, Quack).

In fact, the Dr. Oz lawsuit asserts, the pills are worthless with little scientific evidence they promote weight reduction. Hey—what about the placebo effect?

“As a renowned surgeon at Columbia University with specialized medical and scientific knowledge, Dr. Oz knew that the claims he was making about the supplements being ‘miracle fat busters’ were patently false or misleading consumers,” the lawsuit states. “Dr. Oz concealed his fraud by affirmatively representing to consumers that he was giving his objective opinion about the products based on his specialized knowledge.”

According to the lawsuit, Woodard bought the Labrada Garcinia Cambogia Dual Action Fat Buster, the Labrada Green Coffee Bean Extract Fat Loss Optimizer and the Labrada Raspberry Ketones Metabolic Enhancer products sometime around June 2013, paying between $15 and $20 a bottle, after she saw episodes of “The Doctor Oz Show” in which he promoted those herbal supplement ingredients as being “miracles in a bottle” when it comes to weight loss.

However, the lawsuit contends that while Dr. Oz regularly reminds audiences that he’s not attempting to sell any products, he does not mention that some of his “nutritional expert” special guests are in fact paid spokespeople for certain supplement products.

By way of example, the lawsuit cites an episode in which the weight-loss benefits of garcinia cambogia, were discussed. Dr. Oz introduced a guest doctor as being at the forefront of “revolutionary research that says garcinia could be the magic ingredient that lets you lose weight without diet and exercise,” yet that doctor turned out to be a paid researcher for Interhealth Neutrceuticals Inc., which is also named defendant in the suit, according to the complaint.

Additionally, the suit states that studies published by the Journal of the American Medical Association and other publications have shown that garcinia cambogia and green coffee bean failed to produce any significant weight loss, and there is zero evidence showing that raspberry ketones can help trim fat.

Woodward seeks to represent a nationwide class of consumers who were “duped” into buying “worthless” weight loss supplements containing garcinia cambogia, green coffee bean extract and raspberry ketones from the Labrada and others.

The case is Veda Woodard v. Lee Labrada et al., case number 2:16-cv-00717, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. 

Top Settlements

Ruling for Bayada Workers… Here’s a major step forward for home care workers in Colorado. A federal judge has issued the final ruling on an employment class action lawsuit this week, filed against Bayada by its home health care workers. The lawsuit alleged the company failed to pay overtime wages. Boy, this just never gets tired, does it.

And justice prevailed. In her ruling on the Bayada overtime lawsuit, Judge Christine Arguello found that Colorado’s labor laws necessitate that overtime be paid if the worker is employed by a third-party agency.

The lawsuit was originally filed in Plaintiff Michele Kennett and a class of employees in July of 2014, alleging they were not paid overtime when in fact Colorado law necessitated time-and-a-half overtime compensation on all hours worked over 40 per week.

Bayada, based in Colorado, provides workers who deliver in-home health care services to clients with cognitive difficulties, physical disabilities, and/or chronic illnesses. The suit centered on whether home health aides are exempt from overtime protections under the Colorado Department of Labor’s Minimum Wage Order as “companion employees.”

The case is Kennett v. Bayada Home Health Care. Case 1:14-cv-02005-CMA-MJW

Consider the case finally settled and possibly a precedent set.  

Ok, sothat’s a wrap folks… Happy Super Bowl Weekend!! …See you at the Bar!