Tik Tok Tik Tok… Counting down 30 days to your CLRA deadline
It is increasingly important to ensure that your businesses in the cosmetic and personal care industries are compliant while thriving in the competitive marketplace. There has been a flurry of litigations by advocacy groups and plaintiff’s side consumer rights law firms seeking to combat what they describe as a surge in deceptive marketing by cosmetic and personal care giants.
The Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) is a set of California statutes that protects consumers from false advertising, fraud, and other unfair business practices. This law allows consumers to bring individual or class action lawsuits to recover damages and to stop unlawful business practices. California Civil Code 1770(a) lists almost two dozen unfair and deceptive acts of consumer fraud. The most important prohibited business practices for cosmetic and personal care are:
- Misrepresentation of a professional affiliation or endorsement.
- Misrepresenting that goods or services have characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have
- Using deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin.
- Representing that goods or services are of a particular quality or grade if they are of another.
- Disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representation of fact.
- Advertising goods or services with the intent not to sell them as advertised.
Any consumer who has suffered damage as a result of any prohibited business practices by the CLRA can bring suit.
Remedies for violation of the CLRA can include:
- The consumer’s actual monetary damages,
- A court order enjoining (prohibiting) the unfair practices,
- Restitution of property,
- Punitive damages,
- Recovery of attorney’s fees,
- Injunctive relief, and
- Any other relief that the court deems proper.
However, it is very important for businesses to note that 30 days or more before a plaintiff may file a lawsuit under CLRA, the consumer plaintiff must notify the potential defendant and ask the business to correct, repair, replace or otherwise rectify the goods or services alleged to be in violation of the CLRA. This gives businesses 30 days to evaluate the CLRA claim and take actions to remedy the situation.
If you ever receive a CLRA notice, you will have 30 days to remedy the situation or agree to do so (and then actually do it) within a reasonable time. If the consumer’s claim is legitimate and certain business practices of yours were in fact unfair or deceptive, you must also within a reasonable time cease to engage in the prohibited business practices. See Cal. Civ. Code 1782.
Carbon Law Group has the depth of knowledge and experience to help you navigate the complex web of California consumer protection regulations. We focus on reducing and managing your risk of litigation by advising on product labeling and negotiating with consumers that send your business a CLRA notice. To learn more, call us today, and we can begin discussing your options immediately.