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Monday, July 22, 2019

Plaintiff not accepting loss of lawsuit over empty space in Purex Crystals packaging


By Sandra Lane | Aug 16, 2018

SAN DIEGO (Legal Newsline) – A California woman who alleged she was "surprised and disappointed" that a container of Purex Crystals contained empty space and sued the maker of the in-wash fragrance booster is appealing a court's ruling that dismissed her complaint.

Claudine Macaspac filed an appeal on July 2 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California after Judge Marilyn L. Huff had ruled in favor of defendant Henkel Corp. on June 4.

Macaspac filed a class action lawsuit against Henkel in 2017, complaining that the jar of Purex Crystals she had purchased had an empty space equal to approximately 30 percent of the total volume. As stated in the court’s June 4 order, Purex Crystals is an in-wash fragrance booster used to give laundry a fresh scent. Because there was some empty space in the jar, she alleged that the bottles were deceptive and were in direct violation of California laws for consumer protection.

During the court proceedings, Henkel stated that the company was entitled to judgment on the pleadings, alleging that consumers could not be deceived by the Purex packaging because the jar was made of clear plastic and allowed consumers to see the space within the container. It also alleged that Macaspac could not sue for bottles she had not purchased.

“After reviewing the parties’ submissions, the court agrees with Henkel that no reasonable consumer could be deceived as to the amount of product contained in the Purex bottles,” Huff wrote in the court's order.  

She also declined to address Macaspac’s standing to bring claims related to products she did not purchase, saying that this is an open question under California law.

In addition, the judge said that leave to amend for Macaspac should be denied when it would be futile because the complaint could not be saved by any amendment.

“No amount of additionally pleaded facts could change the features of the Purex bottles that render them non-deceptive,” Huff said. “The court accordingly denies leave to amend and dismisses the complaint with prejudice.”

"The court grants Henkel’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, denies Macaspac’s motion for class certification as moot, and directs the clerk of the court to enter judgment in favor of Henkel," the order states.

Macaspac’s notice of appeal filed on July 2 was accompanied by a representation statement naming her legal representatives as Ronald A. Marron and Michael T. Houchin of San Diego.

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