Batten Industries, Inc. labels its kitchen and bathroom cleaners and laundry products as “All Natural,” but the complaint for this class action alleges that they contain synthetic and toxic ingredients. The complaint quotes a number on online complaints, including one that says, “Received a chemical burn from wearing clothes washed in this.”
The complaint proposes two classes for this action. The Nationwide Class is all persons in the US who bought any of products listed below. The California Class is all persons in California who bought any of the products listed below.
The complaint notes that nowadays, consumers are looking for products that will be healthier for them and their families and will offer “ethically superior performance” and they are willing to pay more for such products. The complaint alleges that Batten takes advantage of this willingness with its “All Natural Nellie’s” products that are purportedly safe, clean, eco-friendly, cruelty-free, organic, and without health issues. The products include but are not limited to these:
The complaint reproduces images of these products bearing the words “All Natural” prominently on their fronts. Yet all of these products, the complaint says, contain one or more these non-natural ingredients:
According to the complaint, none of these substances is natural. For example, it says that Lauryl Alcohol Ethoxylate is made through “a direct reaction of higher alcohols, acids or amines with ethylene oxide in the presence of an alkaline catalyst” at a temperature of 250-360 degrees. It notes that the Natural Products Association (NPA) Standard and Certification for Personal Care Products does not permit companies to call ethoxylated products “natural.” This substance is used in the company’s Baby Laundry product.
Another substance used in Baby Laundry is Cocoamidopropyl Betaine, which is made by taking coconut oil fatty acids with 3,3-dimethylaminopropylamine to form cocamidopropy dimethlamine, which is then reacted with sodium monochloroacetate. The NPA also forbids products that contain this substance from being called “natural.”
The complaint claims that in labeling and marketing these products the company has breached its express warranty that the products are “all natural” as well as violated California laws including its Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law, and False Advertising Law.