New Class Actions Deem Coconut Water’s Health Claims Misleading
A California resident has filed a pair of putative class actions in state court against companies that market their coconut water with purportedly exaggerated nutrient claims and overstated hydrating benefits or as a miracle cure for a host of medical problems. Shenkman v. All Mkt., Inc., No. BC 467166; Shenkman v. One World Enters. LLC, No. BC467165 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cty., filed August 8, 2011). Seeking to certify statewide consumer classes, the plaintiff alleges intentional and negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and violations of California’s False Advertising Act and Unfair Business Practices Act. The plaintiff requests compensatory and punitive damages, disgorgement, restitution, payment to a cy pres fund, a corrective advertising campaign, and an apology.
Among other matters, the plaintiff claims that One World Enterprises sells
“O.N.E. Coconut Water” throughout the United States in more than 18,000
retail outlets and promotes it “as a miracle product, curing various medical
problems and illnesses.” According to the complaint, the company claims its
product can help with digestion, regulate sodium, support kidney function,
reduce plaque formation, relieve dry skin, help those who have consumed
too much alcohol, and provide benefits for children, seniors and pregnant
women. The plaintiff claims that he relied on and believed these false and
misleading representations and “suffered damages including, but not limited
to, monetary loss and emotional distress” caused by being duped. See Law360,
August 10, 2011.