In Shank v. Presidio Brands, the plaintiff brought a putative class action, alleging that Presidio's use of the statements "naturally," "natural," "naturally-derived," and "only naturally derived" on its website, labeling, and other materials is false and misleading. The plaintiff alleged that the statements violated California law because the products actually contain "numerous ingredients that are artificially-engineered through multiple synthetic processes rending the resulting ingredients and its components unnatural and non naturally-derived."
Presidio moved to dismiss the plaintiff's claim for injunctive relief. Essentially, Presidio argued that the named plaintiff is not entitled to an injunction because he "cannot plausibly allege a likelihood of future injury because if he wants to purchase a Presidio product with an 'all natural' label in the future, [the plaintiff] need only read the product's ingredients list on the spot to confirm whether or not the label misrepresents the product's contents."
In denying the motion, the court said that the plaintiff's allegation that he would like to purchase the products in the future, but would be hesitant to rely on the product labels, is sufficient to confer standing to seek injunctive relief. The court wrote that the plaintiff's "ability to read the products' ingredients does not render Presidio's allegedly false advertising that the products contain 'only naturally-derived" ingredients 'any more truthful.'"
It's yet another case reminding advertisers to be extra cautious when making "natural" claims.
A plaintiff seeking injuctive relief must demonstrate a 'real or immediate threat that they will be wronged again -- a likelihood of substantial and immediate injury.'