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Consumers allege Barlean's coconut oil products are deceptively marketed as a 'healthy' option

By Bree Gonzales | Feb 4, 2019

SAN DIEGO (Legal Newsline) – Two California residents and a New York resident allege a brand of coconut oil is falsely marketed as a healthy option.

Michael Testone, Collin Shanks and Lamartine Pierre, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a complaint on Jan. 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California against Barlean's Organic Oils LLC alleging violation of California's Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law and other counts.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that the defendant misleadingly markets its coconut oil products as "inherently healthy and a healthy alternative to butter and various oils." The plaintiffs allege coconut oil is a less healthy option and that they lost money as a result of the deceptive claims.

"At the time of purchase, and notwithstanding its saturated fat content, plaintiffs were unaware that consuming coconut oil, such as Barlean’s, adversely affects blood cholesterol levels and increases risk of (coronary heart disease), stroke and other morbidity," the suit states.

The plaintiffs hold Barlean's Organic Oils LLC responsible because the defendant allegedly used false and misleading marketing claims to suggest that the products were healthier than butter and other fats or oils.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury, an order compelling the defendant to conduct a corrective advertising campaign, restitution, attorney's fees and costs. They are represented by Paul K. Joseph of The Law Office of Paul K. Joseph PC in San Diego, California and Jack Fitzgerald, Trevor M. Flynn and Melanie Persinger of The Law Office of Jack Fitzgerald PC in San Diego, California.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California case number 3:19-cv-00169-JLS-BGS 

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Paul Joseph Salon The Law Office of Jack Fitzgerald, PC The Law Office of Paul K. Joseph, PC U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

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