What is a retailer to do? The world today is filled with people assuming they are being disrespected and believing they are being defrauded. It’s not just that some customers can be surly and demanding when they are in your store, they often seek to sue you on behalf of all your customers, wreaking havoc on your business operations and driving up your legal expenses. Common sense, courtesy, and consideration may be the retailers’ best tools both at the point of sales and in court. Remember even when they sue, people are your customers.
Over the past several years, there has been a rash across the country in “consumer protection” class actions. Not health and safety challenges; those obviously should be first order of priority both from the standpoint of risk to the company and from the standpoint of reputation and “doing the right thing.” For example, labeling class action claims have been increasing dramatically in the past several years and have hit a number of industries including food, heath, cosmetics, pet care and others. The challenges run the gamut from trade dress to challenges about specific product content or potential scientific benefits.
Real Risk Exposure? This other variety of suits challenge nitpicky “common sense” product issues yet are wrapped (no pun intended) in theories of marketing fraud or other unfair practices allegations. Recent class action case topics have included: is my sandwich long enough, is there too much ice in my drink, etc. Unfortunately, many of these suits allege