The makers of Zarbee’s “Naturals” children’s cough syrup products face a class action lawsuit over deceptive marketing and fraudulent labeling, which claims the products are all natural, when in fact they are made with synthetic ingredients.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Akiela Babb in the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York on February 19, naming Zarbee’s Inc., as the sole defendant.
The lawsuit seeks class action status to pursue damages on behalf of all purchasers of Zarbee’s “Natural” cough syrup products in New York state, alleging that the company intentionally misrepresents the ingredients of its “Nighttime Cough Syrup + Mucus” product, falsely claiming that it is “chemical free” and derived from “handpicked natural ingredients.”
Babb stated she, and other class members, purchased Zarbee’s cough syrup at a premium price of at least $6.99 for a 4FL oz. bottle as an alternative to other available products, in an effort to avoid exposing her children to artificial, synthetic ingredients produced through harsh production processes, for reasons including health, environmental benefit, nutrition and possible adverse reactions to unknown chemical additives.
However, the Zarbee’s Naturals Cough Syrup class action lawsuit alleges the manufacturer’s claims that all ingredients were naturally sourced are false, and contain non-natural, artificial and synthetic ingredients including melatonin, ascorbic acid vitamin C, citric acid and zinc.
Babb further claims she would have paid significantly less or selected a different children’s cough syrup if not for the misleading claims.
“Defendant misrepresented the Products through affirmative statements, half-truths, and omissions,” the lawsuit states. “Defendant sold more of the Product and at a higher price than it would have in absence of this misconduct, resulting in additional profits at the expense of consumers. Had plaintiff and the proposed class members known the truth, they would not have bought the Product or would have paid less for it.”
Zarbee’s Inc., which was acquired by Johnson and Johnson in 2018, faces allegations of breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, violation of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and unjust enrichment.
The lawsuits seeks to represent a class of New York citizens and is requesting an injunction which would require Zarbee’s to correct their misrepresentations raised in the lawsuit, in addition to compensating consumers for damages and costs.