Thursday, Delia De Santiago Lizama and Michelle Olsen filed a complaint in the Eastern District of Missouri against Venus Laboratories, Inc. alleging false advertising of their ECOS products as “non-toxic, “safer” and “long-lasting.”
Venus, formerly known as Earth Friendly, manufactures ECOS products that are marketed as safe, environmentally friendly and non-toxic, according to the plaintiff’s complaint. However, the plaintiffs alleged that these products contain phenoxyethanol, which is “toxic by definition under federal law” and “even brief exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury.” This chemical is said to cause serious damage to the nervous system, certain organs and is classified as a carcinogen, according to the complaint.
Court documents state that ECOS products are registered with the EPA’s “Safer Choice” program, which the plaintiffs claim led them to believe that “the products pose no risk to humans, animals and/or or the environment”, even if they are allegedly dangerous for people and the environment. In addition to phenoxyethanol, ECOS products contain more than 30 chemicals and substances toxic to humans and marine life, including stain removers, laundry detergents, shampoo, soap and other products that come into contact with directly with humans, pets and aquatic life.
In the complaint, the plaintiffs argued that if ECOS products had been honestly marketed to consumers, they would not have purchased them at all, let alone at the full price they paid. Furthermore, they claimed that the defendant had “no reasonable grounds to believe that his statements were not false and misleading” and profited from these actions. Thus, plaintiffs are suing for five violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA), two violations of the California Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices Act, one violation of the Consumer Legal Remedy Act, one violation of express warranty, one violation of implied warranty of merchantability, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation and fraud.
Plaintiffs seek class certification, declaratory judgment directing defendant to take corrective action, compensatory damages, damages, restitution and reimbursement, injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees and costs, and others repairs.
The plaintiffs are represented by Orlowsky Law, LLC.