On 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 “sustainable.”
Venus, formerly known as Earth Friendly, produces ECOS products that are marketed as safe, eco-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 short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury.” This chemical is said to cause severe damage to the nervous system, certain organs, and is classified as a carcinogen, the complaint said.
Court documents say that ECOS products are registered with the EPA’s “Safer Choice” program, which the plaintiffs say led them to believe that “the Products do not pose any risk to humans, animals, and/or the environment” even though they are allegedly dangerous to humans and to the environment. Along with containing phenoxyethanol, the ECOS products contain more than 30 chemicals and substances that are toxic to humans and marine life, including stain removers, laundry detergent, shampoo, soap and other products that come into direct contact with humans, pets and aquatic life.
In the complaint, the plaintiffs reasoned that if the ECOS products were truthfully marketed to consumers they would not have purchased them at all, let alone at the premium price that they paid. Furthermore, they claimed that the defendant had “no reasonable grounds for believing its representations were not false and misleading” and profited off of these actions. Thus, the plaintiffs are suing for five violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA), two violations of California’s Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices Law, a violation of the Consumer Legal Remedy Act, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud.
The plaintiffs are seeking class certification, declaratory relief enjoining the Defendant to engage in corrective action, compensatory damages, monetary damages, restitution and disgorgement, injunctive relief, attorney’s fees and costs, and other relief.
The plaintiffs are represented by Orlowsky Law, LLC.