The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness opposed a settlement in Ma v. Harmless Harvest, a class action dispute over claims of organic products in coconut water in which class attorneys sought $575,000 and the class members get nothing.
The legal claim involved whether Harmless Harvest’s labeling claiming that their products were “100% organic” and “raw” were accurate. The proposed settlement provides class members with worthless injunctive relief, trying to take credit for labeling changes that Harmless Harvest voluntarily made in 2015. At the same time, and in a clear signal of who the settlement is structured to benefit, the class attorneys and named representatives are seeking combined payments of $575,000.
CEI attorney Adam Schulman said, "The Harmless Harvest settlement provides quite a harvest in fees for the attorneys. This settlement was manufactured to satisfy the interests of class counsel and the defendant, while giving the class nothing of substance. It is settlements like this which the Seventh Circuit referred to as a ‘racket’ just last month in the landmark Subway sandwich case."
CEI opposed the settlement on behalf of class member Anna St. John and proposes that the court dismiss the case or deny the settlement approval and attorneys’ fees.
CEI’s Center for Class Action Fairness represents class members against unfair class action procedures and settlements. Founded by Ted Frank in 2009, the center has won millions of dollars for consumers and shareholders and won landmark precedents that safeguard consumers, investors, courts, and the general public.
See CEI’s objection and more about the case here.