Five Pawns sued over allegedly false claims about e-liquid products

By Robbie Hargett | Nov 24, 2015

SANTA ANA, Calif. (Legal Newsline) – An e-liquid manufacturer is being sued over deceptive, false, and misleading claims about its products.

Duane Robert Greene, Shawn Randall Thomas and James Hirtzel, individually and for all others similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit Nov. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern Division of the Central District of California against Five Pawns, alleging violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, the California Unfair Competition Law, the California False Advertising Law, the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, the New York General Business Law, and breach of express warranty.

Five Pawns manufactures e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes. Its e-liquids contain hazardous substances known as diacetyl (DA) and acetyl propionyl (AP), which are safe to eat or drink, but the inhalation of which is known to cause certain serious lung conditions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema, the complaint states.

The suit states the certain flavors of the defendant's e-liquids contain the highest concentration of DA and AP levels of any e-liquid, but the company does not warn of the dangers of inhaling DA or AP on its product packaging or its website.

The suit alleges laboratory test have shown the defendant's e-liquids contain far more than trace amounts of DA and AP, though Five Pawns claims its e-liquids are free of these substances.

As a result of the defendant's deceptive, false, and misleading claims, the plaintiffs and others in the class have purchased its e-liquids without being advised they contain toxins and impurities that pose potential health hazards.

The plaintiffs and other members in the class seek a judgment requiring Five Pawns to disgorge or return all monies, revenues, and profits obtained by any wrongful act or practice; enjoining Five Pawns from continuing the described unlawful practices; and awarding exemplary and putative damages, equitable remedies, attorney fees and costs, and interests.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Betsy C. Manifold, Rachele R. Rickert, Brittany N. DeJong, Janine L. Pollack, Michael Jaffe, and Gloria Kui Melwani of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz in San Diego and New York City, and by attorney Jessica J. Sleater of Andersen & Sleater in New York City.

U.S. District Court for the Southern Division of the Central District of California case number 8:15-cv-01859-DOC-DFM

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