Maker of Babyganics Sued in NY Federal Court for False Marketing Practices, Halunen Law Announces


Consumers from New York and California filed a class action lawsuit in
federal district court in New York today against KAS Direct LLC,
alleging that the company uses deceptive marketing and business
practices to promote its Babyganics line of infant-oriented health,
hygiene, and personal-care and household cleaning products, said
plaintiffs law firm Halunen Law.

Despite its name, the suit alleges that most Babyganics products are not
manufactured using organic ingredients. Yet the company’s marketing has
made them appear as the organic and therefore safer and healthier – if
costlier – alternative to thousands of American parents concerned about
reducing their babies’ physical exposure at home to potentially harmful
synthetic chemicals the complaint alleges. Most Babyganics infant care
products are applied directly to the skin, such as sunscreens, diaper
rash rubs, insect repellents, and hand and face wipes. The suit alleges
that consumers have become increasingly concerned about the effects of
synthetic and chemical ingredients in their products and that Babyganics
is capitalizing on consumers’ concerns and their desire for “organic

The lawsuit alleges that the Babyganics name violates various consumer
protection statutes in California and New York, and by extension
throughout the United States, since Babyganics products are marketed
through various retail channels on a national basis. The lawsuit asks
the court to award class damages from KAS/Babyganics in excess of $5
million and to require the company to cease using marketing practices
that falsely portray it as an organic company making organically based

According to the complaint, the Babyganics deception begins with the
brand name itself, which implies to consumers that the company is all
about organic products, despite the inclusion of laboratory-derived
chemicals in several products such as baby sunscreens and cleaning
agents. The Babyganics business is built on the idea that consumers will
pay more for organically-based products, because they perceive them to
be more healthful and life-enhancing, the complaint states. The
Babyganics name, itself an artificially contrived admixture of baby and
organics, was deliberately selected to suggest to consumers that
Babyganics differentiates itself – falsely – by making products free of
synthetic chemical intrusion or composition, says the complaint.

“Consumers deserve truth in labeling and should have confidence that
they can rely on product labels when making purchasing decisions. We are
talking about calling products ‘organic’ that contain potentially
harmful chemicals—we will fight hard to right what we believe is a
wrong,” says Melissa Wolchansky, attorney with Minneapolis-based Halunen
Law, one of three law firms filing the class action lawsuit on behalf of
plaintiffs Tanya Mayhew in New York and Tanveer Alibhai in California.

The deception allows Babyganics to charge premium prices for its
products, a practice that has unjustly enriched the company to the tune
of millions of dollars, the complaint alleges. So successful was
Babyganics strategy that it appeared on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest
growing private companies in America in 2014, after reporting a 277
percent annual growth rate for the previous three years.

Plaintiff Mayhew purchased the Products because she saw the labeling,
advertising, the Defendant’s website, and read the packaging, which
represented that the products are “Organic” and “Mineral-Based.” The
marketing convinced her that Babyganics products were worth the premium
prices she paid for them, when in fact she now believes the products are
worth less than she paid.

Plaintiff Alibhai sought to reduce her young child’s sun exposure risk
in purchasing the Babyganics mineral-based sunscreen, believing it to be
free of chemical sunscreens. Her child developed a skin rash from using
the product, after which she discovered that Babyganics included several
chemicals, including Octinoxate and Octisalate, two active chemical
sunscreens that the Environmental Working Group (a member of a “sun
safety coalition” with KAS/Babyganics) tells consumers are under
scrutiny in Europe for potentially harmful human impacts. By featuring
the product as “mineral based,” Plaintiff Alibhai alleges that
Babyganics purposely sought to deceive health-conscious consumers into
believing the product was free of chemical sunscreens.

All told, Babyganics markets dozens of products for infant and household
care. While many of them contain some organic ingredients, they fall
short of meeting the legal standard for labeling a product as organic,
as defined by the California Organic Products Act of 2003 and the
National Organics Program, the complaint alleges. COPA mandates that “no
product shall be sold as organic pursuant to this article unless it is
produced according to regulations promulgated by the NOP, and consists
entirely of products manufactured only from raw or processed
agricultural products.”

Class action lawsuits are an effective means for redressing marketplace
fraud and deceit, empowering consumers – and the legal system – to take
action collectively against practices that may not, on an individual
transaction basis, be practical to litigate. “We stand up for consumers
against retail fraud, that’s what lawyers like myself do,” says
Wolchansky. “I encourage any consumer who believes they are victims of
systematic retail fraud to contact a class action law firm such as
Halunen Law or my co-counsel at Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca and The Sultzer
Law Group.”

About Halunen Law

Halunen Law has expertise in litigating consumer class actions and a
track record of success in challenging dishonest marketing, corporate
fraud and illegal business practices. Halunen also offers experienced
representation to employees and whistleblowers under the False Claims
Act and other statutes. Visit the firm’s website at

About Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP

Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca has litigated scores of defective building
products and consumer cases and recovered over $2 billion for its
clients. Cuneo represents individuals and businesses that have been
victims of antitrust violations, faulty products, civil rights
violations, and securities fraud. Learn more about Cuneo Gilbert &
LaDuca at,
Washington, D.C. | Tel: (202) 789-3960.

About The Sultzer Law Group P.C.

The Sultzer Law Group, P.C. focuses on complex civil litigation,
including consumer class actions. The firm is headquartered in New York,
and maintains offices in California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Since
its founding in 2013, The Sultzer Law Group, P.C. has served as lead
counsel in numerous high-profile consumer class action cases. The firm’s
attorneys have contributed to or been featured in various well known
publications regarding their class action practice, including: Law360,
Inside Counsel Magazine, Risk Management Magazine, and CNBC News. More
detail about the firm, its practice areas, and its attorneys appears on
its website:

Halunen Law
Melissa Wolchansky, 612-605-4098
Thunder PR

Doug Hovelson, 612-722-5501

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