Hain Celestial Hit with BluePrintJuice Cleanse Class Action Lawsuit
By Courtney Coren
A false advertising class action lawsuit was filed against Hain Celestial Group Inc. last week for allegedly making false claims that its line of raw juice products, BluePrintJuice and BluePrintCleanse, are made with raw and unpasteurized juices.
New York resident Michael Stark along with California residents Reyna Gillead, Kenna Braner, and Oscar Ruiz filed the false advertising lawsuit against Hain Celestial on October 15.
All four plaintiffs claim that in 2013 they purchased one or more of the Hain Celestial BluePrint juice products — “Red Juice,” “Gold Juice,” “Green Juice,” “Yellow Juice,” and/or “White juice” — ranging in price from $6.99 to $11.99. The plaintiffs say they were willing to pay a premium price for the juices because of the claims made on the bottles that they were made with juices that were “Unpasteurized,” “100% Raw,” and “Raw and Organic.” The packaging also included statements that it claimed was the company’s “Manifreshto,” stating that “Juice should never be cooked. Cooking juice kills vitamins and live enzymes. Even ‘flash’ pasteurized means cooked.”
The plaintiffs all say that they purchased the premium juices based on these claims and that if they had known that the juices were neither 100% Raw nor unpasteurized, they would not have purchased the products. The class action lawsuit says they took the statements on the packaging to be true, when “the Juice Products were, in fact, equivalent to pasteurized juices.” The plaintiffs claim that the juices being pasteurized make them worth less than what was paid for them.
According to the BluePrint juice class action lawsuit, the juices “undergo a treatment process known as High Pressure Processing (also known as High Pressure Pasteurization or High Pressure Pascalization) (“HPP”), which neutralizes the benefits of the live enzymes, probiotics, vitamins, proteins, and nutrients that would otherwise be retained in a raw unpasteurized juice.”
The plaintiffs explain that while HPP is not the same as traditional pasteurization, the effects are the same in that it also destroys probiotics and enzymes, violating “the fundamental principles underlying the raw food movement, consumers’ expectations and industry standards.”
The BluePrint juice class action lawsuit alleges that the statements made by Hain that the juices were “100% Raw,” “Raw and Organic,” and “Unpasteurized” were made “in an effort to appeal to health-conscious, raw-juice-drinking consumers.” These statements allowed Hain “to charge a significant price premium — roughly double the price of similarly sized, but properly labeled HPP-treated juice products.”
Juices in their raw state, that are unpasteurized and untreated, are supposed to be consumed within days before they begin to go bad to take advantage of the natural probiotics, enzymes, and nutrients, making raw juices worth a lot more than traditional pasteurized juices.
BluePrintWholesale LLC and ZSBPW LLC are also listed as defendants.
The plaintiffs are asking that their lawsuit against Hain be given class action status as they believe that there is a “nationwide” of purchasers. They argue that Hain violated the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law, California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California’s False Advertising Law, and New York General Business Law. They are also charging Hain with breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, and unjust enrichment.
The plaintiffs claim that Hain could end up paying more than $5 million to the class members.
The plaintiffs are represented by Scott A. Bursor, Joseph I. Marchese, Neal J. Deckant, and Yitzchak Kopel or Bursor & Fisher PA and by Spencer Sheehan and Joshua Levin-Epstein of Sheehan & Associates PC.
The Hain BluePrint Raw Juice False Advertising Lawsuit is Stark et al v. Hain Celestial Group Inc. et al, Case No. 1:13-cv-07246 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
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