Class-Action Settlements: ‘Natural’ Mislabeling and Shattering Sunroofs

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“Natural” is a popular marketing buzzword, but it can cost companies big bucks if they use the term under false pretenses.

This month’s highlighted class-action settlements also affect consumers who experienced a shattered sunroof or were gouged by a utility provider that promised lower rates.

Wesson ‘Natural’ Cooking Oil

Wesson Oil manufacturer Conagra Foods will pay consumers 15 cents for every bottle of Wesson cooking oil purchased as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement over the company using the words “100% natural” on products that allegedly contained ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Consumers who bought Wesson Vegetable Oil, Wesson Canola Oil, Wesson Corn Oil and Wesson Best Blend while in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota and Texas during different time frames could receive compensation.

Consumers may receive 15 cents per Wesson Oil purchased, up to 30 units without proof of purchase, for a total of $4.50. If receipts are included, the number of units that can be claimed is unlimited.

For a complete list of time frames designated to each state and to submit a claim by the Aug. 22, 2019 deadline, click here.

Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract Weight Loss

If you bought Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract or products containing the extract believing it would help you lose weight, you could obtain a portion of a $1.3 million class-action settlement.

Among the included products is the Labrada Fat Loss Optimizer with Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract.

The suit alleged Naturex promised the products would “bust your body fat for good,” but customers say the items didn’t help them lose weight.

Anyone who purchased Svetol or any green coffee bean extract product containing Svetol between February 2, 2012 and May 17, 2019, may be eligible. Buyers can receive $30 per purchase with their proof of purchase. Those without receipts may submit up to two claims for a total of $60.

Click here for more information and to submit a claim by the Aug. 30, 2019 deadline.

Gateway Energy Variable Rates

Gateway Energy Services has agreed to settle three separate class-action lawsuits for $9.25 million over electricity and gas charges.

The company allegedly violated the terms of its own energy contracts in place with consumers. Customers said that instead of adjusting consumer energy rates based on market prices, Gateway raised monthly rates significantly to amounts that did not reflect changes in the wholesale cost.

Consumers will receive $.00333 per kilowatt hour of electric supply service and $.02509 per therm of natural gas supplied through Gateway. The actual amount each class member may receive will vary, but the average payment is estimated around $78.

For a complete list of the states and dates included in this settlement and to make a claim by the Aug. 1, 2019 deadline, click here.

Bluestem Brands Wrong Number Phone Call

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Bluestem Brands has agreed to a $1.2 million settlement regarding claims that the company placed wrong number phone calls to potential Fingerhut, Gettington or PayCheck Direct customers in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Consumers who were contacted without consent between Nov. 2, 2015 and July 8, 2018 regarding a balance on a Fingerhut, Gettington or PayCheck Direct account by a LiveVox Inc. Quick Connection platform may qualify for a cash settlement, but the amount will be determined after the number of valid claims are received.

Bluestem has identified 280,570 class members.

To qualify, you must submit a claim ID from Bluestem or the cell phone number that received the wrong number phone call.

Click here for complete details and to file a claim form by the July 16, 2019 deadline.

Martha Stewart Living Subscriber Info

Michigan magazine subscribers may benefit from an almost $1 million settlement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

The suit alleges that the media company shared subscribers’ private information with outside sources without their consent. Michigan’s privacy protection laws were reportedly violated when Meredith Corporation, which owns Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Wedding magazines, sold subscriber information such as gender, age and email addresses to third parties.

Meredith and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia agreed to pay $965,000.

The settlement includes consumers with Michigan street addresses who subscribed to Martha Stewart Living magazine or Martha Stewart Weddings magazine between July 31, 2010 and July 31, 2016, and who bought their subscriptions directly from Martha Stewart or Meredith.

Consumers with Michigan street addresses who bought the magazine subscriptions during the same time period, but purchased their subscriptions through a third party are also covered by the settlement.

For complete information and a claim form, click here and file by the Sept. 14, 2019 deadline.

Hyundai Shattering Sunroof

Owners and lessees of Hyundai vehicles that have a panoramic sunroof could benefit from a class-action settlement reached with the car manufacturer.

The suit alleged that the panoramic sunroofs are prone to shatter unexpectedly, and that the ceramic tint used on the glass is partly to blame.

The settlement affects owners and lessees in the U.S. and those who bought an affected vehicle while on active military duty. Vehicles included are:

  • 2011-2016 model year Sonata Hybrid;
  • 2010-2016 model year Tucson;
  • 2012-2016 model year Sonata
  • 2012-2016 model year Veloster
  • 2013-2016 Santa Fe
  • 2013-2016 Santa Fe Sport
  • 2013-2016 Elantra GT
  • 2012-2016 model year Azera
  • 2015-2016 model year Genesis

Qualified owners and lessees may obtain a warranty extension, reimbursement of repair costs, up to $200 for experiencing the shattering glass in person, and a $1,000 trade-in rebate or a maximum of $600.

Proof of repair expenses such as a credit card statement or receipt must be provided.

Click here for more information and to file a claim by the July 25, 2019 deadline.