Individual consumers or the attorney general can file lawsuits involving consumer protection. Noddy Fernandez, a Legal Newsline reporter, published an article, “Arizona beverages mislead consumers regarding sugar, calories, Washington woman alleges,” which revolves around case 2:18-cv-05040-SJF-AYS involving Lindsey Neville against Arizona Beverages USA, LLC. According to the documents presented in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in September 6, 2018, the plaintiff argues that the defendants actively engaged in deceptive business practices by providing misleading information regarding their drink’s nutritional labels.
Fernandez reports that the companies indicated that the drinks’ size was only eight ounces, yet their products’ drink size is double (16 ounces) the listed information. According to Lindsey, the nutritional labels play a crucial role in leading individual customers to believe that defendants’ products are not only safe but also contain less than the recommended calories and sugar. Invoking the Washington’s Consumer Protection Act, she argues that the identified companies should be held accountable for benefiting from unfair business acts by generating revenue from marketing and selling unsafe beverages to the unsuspecting consumer.
Enacted in 1961 by the Washington Legislature, the Consumer Protection Act has gone through a series of amendments to promote reasonable and fair business practices and acts, particularly those that do consider the public interest. Construed to protect consumers, the Act defines a clear cause of action by private plaintiffs such as Lindsey. For example, the court will require her to prove that the allegations against the defendants are true. She must show that they engaged in a deceptive act and the said unfair practice occurred in the course of commerce, affecting the public interest in addition to causing harm.
Two Reese LLP attorneys, George Granade and Michael Reese, are representing Lindsey in the court case. If found guilty, the statute will require the accused business organizations to pay actual damages, attorney’s fees, as well as treble damages, which often goes up to 25,000 dollars. In this case, the plaintiff claims that the false information is dangerous to people’s health.