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This case was last updated from PACER on 05/09/2021 at 07:06:11 (UTC).

Lawrence et al v. Hain Celestial Group et al

Case Summary

On March 10, 2021, Erik Lawrence, Rachel M Frantz and Marie Mezile individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated (Plaintiffs), represented by Zahra Dean of Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C. filed a class action lawsuit against Hain Celestial Group(“Hain”), Nurture, Inc.(“Nurture”), Gerber Products Company(“Gerber”) and Beech-Nut Nutrition Company(“Beech-Nut”) (collectively, “Defendants”), seeking injunctive relief and damages among other reliefs for allegedly selling baby food products containing toxic heavy metals. This case was filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York with Judge Eric R. Komitee and Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr presiding

 

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3), the Plaintiffs asserts to have filed the claim on behalf of all persons in the United States who purchased Defendants’ Baby Food Products. 

 

Plaintiffs in their complaint alleged that “The Defendants do not disclose the Toxic Heavy Metal content of their foods on their labels or in their marketing materials, nor do they warn consumers that their Baby Food Products may contain potentially dangerous levels of Toxic Heavy Metals.” Plaintiffs also alleged that “The Defendants do not disclose the Toxic Heavy Metal content of their foods on their labels or in their marketing materials, nor do they warn consumers that their Baby Food Products may contain potentially dangerous levels of Toxic Heavy Metals.”

 

Plaintiffs further alleged that “Defendants Hain, Gerber, and Beech-Nut each typically only tested ingredients, which likely underrepresents the levels of Toxic Heavy Metals in their finished Baby Food Products. According to the Subcommittee, “[o]n August 1, 2019, FDA received a secret slide presentation from Hain, the maker of Earth’s Best Organic baby food, which revealed that finished Baby Food Products contain even higher levels of toxic heavy metals than estimates based on individual ingredient test results. One heavy metal in particular, inorganic arsenic, was repeatedly found to be present at 28-93% higher levels than estimated.”” 

 

Plaintiffs even further alleged that “Defendants advertised, labeled, marketed, and promoted Baby Food Products with such express affirmations of fact and/or promises in such a way as to induce their purchase or use by Plaintiffs and the Classes, thereby making an express warranty that Baby Food Products would conform to the representations.” and that “Defendants’ Baby Food Products are not fit for the ordinary purpose for which they were sold because they contain Toxic Heavy Metals.”

 

There are eight claims for relief laid down by the Plaintiffs. The first, second and third claims for relief are against all Defendants for breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, and unjust enrichment. The fourth and fifth claims for relief are against Defendants Gerber, Nurture, and Hain for violation of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act (GA. Code Ann. §10-1-390, Et Seq.) and violation of the Georgia Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (GA. Code Ann. §10-1-370, Et Seq.). The sixth claim for relief is against Gerber and Nurture for violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §445.901, Et Seq.). The seventh and eighth’ claims for relief are against Gerber, Nurture and Beech-Nut for Violation of New York Deceptive Acts and Practices Act (N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law §349) and Violation of the New York False Advertising Act (N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law §350). 

 

In its prayer for relief, the Plaintiff requested the court to pass an order to define the class as requested and to certify this as a class action in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, enjoining Defendants from selling baby food products, order requiring Defendants to engage in a corrective advertising campaign. Plaintiffs further requested the court to award damages, restitution, prejudgment interest along with costs of litigation. 

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    1:21-CV-01287

  • Filing Date:

    03/10/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Product Liability

  • Court:

    U.S. District Courts

  • Courthouse:

    New York Eastern District

Judge Details

Referral Judge

Ramon E. Reyes, Jr

Presiding Judge

Eric R. Komitee

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

RACHEL M FRANTZ

Erik Lawrence

MARIE MEZILE

Rachel M. Frantz

Defendants

NUTURE, INC

Gerber Products Company

Hain Celestial Group

Beech-Nut Nutrition Company

Nuture, Inc.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

Zahra Dean

Attorney at Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C.

1600 Market Street, Suite 2500

Philadelphia, PA 19103

Defendant Attorneys

Kathleen E. McCarthy

Attorney at King & Spalding LLP

1185 Avenue Of The Americas

New York, NY 10036

Angela C. Agrusa

Attorney at DLA Piper LLP (US)

2000 Avenue Of The Stars, North Tower, Suite 400

Los Angeles, CA 90067-4704

 

Court Documents

#14

(#14) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Erik Lawrence, Marie Mezile, Rachel M. Frantz. Gerber Products Company waiver sent on 3/31/2021, answer due 5/31/2021. (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 04/06/2021)

#13

(#13) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Beech-Nut Nutrition Company identifying Corporate Parent Hero USA, Inc., Corporate Parent Hero Beteiligungen AG, Corporate Parent Hero AG, Corporate Parent Schwartau International GmbH, Corporate Parent AOH Nahrungsmittel GmbH & Co. KG for Beech-Nut Nutrition Company. (McCarthy, Kathleen) (Entered: 04/01/2021)

#12

(#12) NOTICE of Appearance by Kathleen E. McCarthy on behalf of Beech-Nut Nutrition Company (aty to be noticed) (McCarthy, Kathleen) (Entered: 04/01/2021)

#11

(#11) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Erik Lawrence, Marie Mezile, Rachel M. Frantz. Beech-Nut Nutrition Company waiver sent on 3/31/2021, answer due 5/31/2021. (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 04/01/2021)

#10

(#10) NOTICE of Appearance by Angela C. Agrusa on behalf of Nuture, Inc. (aty to be noticed) (Galeano, Sonia) (Entered: 03/30/2021)

#9

(#9) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Erik Lawrence, Marie Mezile, Rachel M. Frantz. Nuture, Inc. waiver sent on 3/25/2021, answer due 5/24/2021. (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 03/25/2021)

#8

(#8) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Erik Lawrence, Marie Mezile, Rachel M. Frantz. Hain Celestial Group waiver sent on 3/23/2021, answer due 5/24/2021. (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 03/23/2021)

#7

(#7) Summons Issued as to All Defendants. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 03/23/2021)

#6

(#6) Proposed Summons. Re #1 Complaint, by Rachel M. Frantz, Erik Lawrence, Marie Mezile (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 03/22/2021)

#5

(#5) This attorney case opening filing has been checked for quality control. See the attachment for corrections that were made, if any. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 03/11/2021)

#4

(#4) Notice of Related Case: The Civil Cover Sheet filed in this civil action indicates a related case. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 03/11/2021)

#3

(#3) In accordance with Rule 73 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 73.1, the parties are notified that if all parties consent a United States magistrate judge of this court is available to conduct all proceedings in this civil action including a (jury or nonjury) trial and to order the entry of a final judgment. Attached to the Notice is a blank copy of the consent form that should be filled out, signed and filed electronically only if all parties wish to consent. The form may also be accessed at the following link: #http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/FormsAndFees/Forms/AO085.pdf. You may withhold your consent without adverse substantive consequences. Do NOT return or file the consent unless all parties have signed the consent. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 03/11/2021)

#2

(#2) Civil Cover Sheet.. Re #1 Complaint, by Rachel M. Frantz, Erik Lawrence, Marie Mezile (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 03/11/2021)

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet

#1

(#1) COMPLAINT against Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, Gerber Products Company, Hain Celestial Group, NUTURE, INC filing fee $ 402, receipt number BNYEDC-14267489 Was the Disclosure Statement on Civil Cover Sheet completed -YES,, filed by Erik Lawrence, MARIE MEZILE, RACHEL M FRANTZ. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet) (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 03/10/2021)

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Docket Entries

  • 04/06/2021
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  • Docket(#14) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Erik Lawrence, Marie Mezile, Rachel M. Frantz. Gerber Products Company waiver sent on 3/31/2021, answer due 5/31/2021. (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 04/06/2021)

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  • 04/01/2021
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  • Docket(#13) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Beech-Nut Nutrition Company identifying Corporate Parent Hero USA, Inc., Corporate Parent Hero Beteiligungen AG, Corporate Parent Hero AG, Corporate Parent Schwartau International GmbH, Corporate Parent AOH Nahrungsmittel GmbH & Co. KG for Beech-Nut Nutrition Company. (McCarthy, Kathleen) (Entered: 04/01/2021)

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  • 04/01/2021
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  • Docket(#12) NOTICE of Appearance by Kathleen E. McCarthy on behalf of Beech-Nut Nutrition Company (aty to be noticed) (McCarthy, Kathleen) (Entered: 04/01/2021)

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  • 04/01/2021
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  • Docket(#11) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Erik Lawrence, Marie Mezile, Rachel M. Frantz. Beech-Nut Nutrition Company waiver sent on 3/31/2021, answer due 5/31/2021. (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 04/01/2021)

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  • 03/30/2021
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  • Docket(#10) NOTICE of Appearance by Angela C. Agrusa on behalf of Nuture, Inc. (aty to be noticed) (Galeano, Sonia) (Entered: 03/30/2021)

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  • 03/25/2021
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  • Docket(#9) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Erik Lawrence, Marie Mezile, Rachel M. Frantz. Nuture, Inc. waiver sent on 3/25/2021, answer due 5/24/2021. (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 03/25/2021)

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  • 03/23/2021
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  • Docket(#8) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Erik Lawrence, Marie Mezile, Rachel M. Frantz. Hain Celestial Group waiver sent on 3/23/2021, answer due 5/24/2021. (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 03/23/2021)

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  • 03/23/2021
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  • Docket(#7) Summons Issued as to All Defendants. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 03/23/2021)

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  • 03/22/2021
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  • Docket(#6) Proposed Summons. Re #1 Complaint, by Rachel M. Frantz, Erik Lawrence, Marie Mezile (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 03/22/2021)

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  • 03/11/2021
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  • Docket(#5) This attorney case opening filing has been checked for quality control. See the attachment for corrections that were made, if any. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 03/11/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/11/2021
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  • Docket(#4) Notice of Related Case: The Civil Cover Sheet filed in this civil action indicates a related case. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 03/11/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/11/2021
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  • Docket(#3) In accordance with Rule 73 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 73.1, the parties are notified that if all parties consent a United States magistrate judge of this court is available to conduct all proceedings in this civil action including a (jury or nonjury) trial and to order the entry of a final judgment. Attached to the Notice is a blank copy of the consent form that should be filled out, signed and filed electronically only if all parties wish to consent. The form may also be accessed at the following link: #http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/FormsAndFees/Forms/AO085.pdf. You may withhold your consent without adverse substantive consequences. Do NOT return or file the consent unless all parties have signed the consent. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 03/11/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/11/2021
  • DocketCase Assigned to Judge Eric R. Komitee and Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr. Please download and review the Individual Practices of the assigned Judges, located on our #website. Attorneys are responsible for providing courtesy copies to judges where their Individual Practices require such. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 03/11/2021)

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  • 03/11/2021
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  • Docket(#2) Civil Cover Sheet.. Re #1 Complaint, by Rachel M. Frantz, Erik Lawrence, Marie Mezile (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 03/11/2021)

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  • 03/11/2021
  • DocketNotice: Re: Incomplete Civil Cover Sheet. The Clerk's Office cannot assign this case without a completed Civil Cover Sheet. All questions *** INCLUDING the CERTIFICATION OF ARBITRATION ELIGIBILITY*** section on the second page needs to be answered. Please resubmit Civil Cover Sheet. (Bowens, Priscilla) (Entered: 03/11/2021)

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  • 03/10/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, Gerber Products Company, Hain Celestial Group, NUTURE, INC filing fee $ 402, receipt number BNYEDC-14267489 Was the Disclosure Statement on Civil Cover Sheet completed -YES,, filed by Erik Lawrence, MARIE MEZILE, RACHEL M FRANTZ. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet) (Dean, Zahra) (Entered: 03/10/2021)

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