Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog


Recently in Buying Goods Category

According to investigative journalists at ABC 11 in Durham, North Carolina, a popular powder makeup marketed to teens may contain asbestos and other harmful ingredients. The team sent "Just Shine Shimmer Powder," sold at Justice Stores, to the Scientific Analytical Institute in Greensboro, where samples of the makeup tested positive for four heavy metals, including asbestos.

"I would treat it like a deadly poison, because it is," Sean Fitzgerald, the Director of Research and Analytical Services told the station. "In this powder designed for children, they could die an untimely death in their thirties or forties because of the exposure to asbestos in this product."

Laundry pods, brightly-colored packets of detergent supposed to make washing clothes easier, can pose a significant poisoning risk to children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there were around 32,000 calls to poison help lines in 2015 for children ingesting candy-resembling laundry pods.

But it turns out those packets can be dangerous for adults, too -- especially those with dementia.

It looks like the tech giant Apple is finally responding to the many lawsuits that have been filed against it related to distracted driving injuries and deaths. However, the response wasn't filed in court. Rather, at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (known as the WWDC), a new iPhone feature was unveiled as part of iOS 11: Do Not Disturb While Driving mode.

Along with the overwhelming public adoption of smart phones, the number of distracted driving crashes has naturally increased. After all, those bright screens, and that warm ambient feeling of acceptance and connection that these little magically devices provide, make them literally, and virtually, irresistible, even while operating a three ton chunk of metal hurling itself over a concrete motorway at 80 miles per hour. Whether Apple, or other manufacturers, are liable for distracted driving accidents caused by their devices is another question entirely though.

A new report, issued by the Environmental Defense Fund, probably has some parents ready to get litigious. The report explains that in looking at over 10 years of FDA data, from 2003 to 2013, approximately 20 percent of the 2,000 baby food products tested contained lead. That's one in every five products. Unfortunately, neither the FDA's data, nor did the report, name the names of the offending products.

Before parents start climbing the walls, clearing out the cabinets, and calling their lawyers, know that the products still fell within what the FDA determined to be an acceptable level of lead contamination. However, what may come as a real surprise is that the baby food products tested had an overall higher average for testing positive for lead than adult food products, which came in at about 14 percent.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a request to pharmaceutical manufacturer Endo to remove their opioid Opana ER from the market amid growing concern of the opioid crisis. While this request is just that, only a request, the FDA is hopeful Endo will comply, though Endo's shareholders might need a good reason why the company should comply.

Opana ER is a very powerful and long lasting opioid pain killer. It is twice the strength of the well known, and often abused, OxyContin or OxyCodone. While the capsule is designed to be a slow release formula, addicts could crush the pills to get around the slow release. To combat this problem, Endo reformulated the drug in 2012, but where there's a will, there's a way: addicts started injecting the drug with needles, again to get around the slow release. Sadly, the injecting of Opana is linked to the rise in HIV cases in the Midwest due to the sharing of needles.

With the increased societal reliance on the internet, it is increasingly rare in this day and age to see scammers resort to classic, in person, confidence tricks like the fake driveway paving scam. However, a pair of scammers are being sued in Ohio as a result of over 30 separate complaints alleging illegal business practices tied to a driveway paving scam.

While many home improvement con artists use fake names, fake businesses, and vanish into thin air once they receive any cash, the Ohio pair tried to cover up the scam by performing "minimal and shoddy" work. All in all, investigators have found that the Ohio driveway paving scammers made nearly $70,000 as a result of the 30 separate complaints reported.

Soylent, the food company that makes meal replacement products, announced a voluntary recall of one of their powdered drinkable food products this week. The recall was due to a dairy free variety of the product that accidentally had dairy included in it during the manufacturing process. While this may not sound like a major concern, for those with dairy allergies, dairy contamination is a serious matter.

Believe it or not, yes, there is actually a real food product called Soylent. The company's origin make it relatively clear that the name is actually based on the 1973 movie "Soylent Green," where the world's food source is called Soylent Green and is made out of people. Based on a The New Yorker piece, it's pretty plain to see that the film inspired the name for the founder's early recipes, though to be clear, the real Soylent does not contain people.

The lawsuit against baby food making giant, Gerber, for deceptive labeling, has been revived by the Ninth Circuit Court. The case, which was nearly completely dismissed in 2013, alleges that the labels on Gerber baby food contained phrases that were misleading to customers. The circuit court has remanded the matter back to the district court to re-review the matter, and continue hearing the case, which despite being four years old, is still in its infancy.

The goliath of the baby food industry is alleged to have violated FDA standards on making claims on their product labels, and therefore misled consumers. For example, the phrase "as health as fresh" or "natural" or "a good source of __" potentially violate FDA standards. These types of phrases on Gerber products mislead consumers due to the fact that competitors' products lack the same type of claims on the product labels.

While nearly anything can be purchased online these days, the FDA has issued safety suggestions when it comes to buying prescription drugs online. The safety suggestions are to help ensure that consumers do not purchase prescription medications that are unsafe, or counterfeit.

Generally, consumers are warned against purchasing prescription drugs from any online retailer that does not require a person to actually have a valid prescription. Believe it or not, there are many illegal businesses that openly advertise illegal services online as though those services were perfectly legal. Since there is a rather large demand for many prescription medications from drug abusers, there are many online businesses that are willing to cater to the demand, legal or not.

Yoga pants are apparently officially pants these days, but if you're wearing one of the most popular pairs of yoga pant-like leggings on the market, you might not be wearing much at all. A new lawsuit claims legging brand LuLaRoe knew their soft products were shoddy, and sold them anyway.

The lawsuit claims customers complained that "holes, tears, and rips appear before wearing, during the first use or shortly thereafter" in the pants, which were also described as "tearing as easily as 'wet toilet paper.'"