Leveraging Consumer Protection Laws: A Closer Look at UCL, FAL, and Implied Warranty of Merchantability

California’s strong consumer protection laws are designed to safeguard the interests of consumers against deceptive and unfair business practices. Arns Davis Law is dedicated to using these legal protections to hold businesses accountable for their actions. In this blog post, we take a brief look at three significant consumer protections: the Unfair Competition Law (UCL), False Advertising Law (FAL), the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), and the Implied Warranty of Merchantability.

Unfair Competition Law (UCL)

The Unfair Competition Law is a broad law that provides protection against a wide range of unlawful or fraudulent business practices. This law prohibits companies from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent business practices. This includes practices such as false advertising, fraudulent billing, and invasion of privacy, among others. The UCL is a powerful tool in cases where a business is alleged to have used misleading or deceptive tactics.

For instance, we recently filed a class action lawsuit against Botanic Tonics and 7-Eleven, contending that they used misleading advertising strategies to promote their product Feel Free. We allege that they portrayed the product as a safe, sober kava drink, while concealing that it contains high concentrations of kratom, a substance the FDA has characterized as an opioid. The lawsuit calls this a clear violation of the UCL, as it allegedly constitutes an unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent business practice.

False Advertising Law (FAL)

The False Advertising Law is another crucial consumer protection law that explicitly targets misleading and deceptive advertising. This law prohibits companies from disseminating false or misleading information about their products or services. It covers situations where companies make untrue statements or omit crucial information in their advertising campaigns. The FAL is a powerful legal tool that helps consumers seek redress in cases where companies are accused of misrepresenting product information.

In our lawsuit against Botanic Tonics and 7-Eleven, we have also invoked the FAL. We allege that the defendants misrepresented the contents of Feel Free by portraying it as a safe, healthy, and sober way to relax and focus. We also allege they claimed that Feel Free was no more addictive than sugar or caffeine, would not induce physiological dependence, was supportive of sobriety, and had no side effects. These claims are alleged to be misleading and deceptive, and in violation of the FAL.

Implied Warranty of Merchantability

The Implied Warranty of Merchantability is a legal protection that guarantees that a product will work as expected for the ordinary purposes for which it is used and meet reasonable quality standards. This law provides a legal recourse when products fail to meet these basic standards. It applies to all products sold by merchants, whether the product is new or used.

The Implied Warranty of Merchantability is particularly relevant in product liability cases. In our ongoing litigation concerning the alleged un-merchantable condition of Feel Free, we have invoked this law to seek redress for our clients. We contend that the defendants breached their implied warranties of merchantability by selling a product that was not fit for its intended purpose.

Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA)

Like the laws above, the CLRA provides additional protections for consumers and prohibits various deceptive business practices, including misrepresenting the nature or characteristics of goods or services. The law allows consumers to seek damages and other remedies for any violations. In the case of Feel Free, we intend to amend our complaint to add violations of the CLRA based on alleged misleading statements about the contents and effects of the product.

These four laws form a powerful arsenal for consumer protection. They provide legal pathways to challenge unfair business practices and seek redress for consumers who have been wronged. At Arns Davis Law, we are committed to leveraging these and other legal tools to uphold consumer rights and hold businesses accountable for their actions.

If you believe you have been wronged by a company’s unfair or deceptive business practices, please contact us at (415) 495-7800 or email us at contact@arnslaw.com.

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