Columbus Class Action Lawyers Discuss False Advertising Cases
Businesses that intentionally mislead customers can inflict substantial harm. This is especially true when it comes to products that promise to help people treat diseases, maintain health, lose weight, or improve their sex life. In fact, an entire division of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) do nothing but assess the truthfulness of claims regarding the content, effectiveness, and potential side effects of nutritional supplements, over-the-counter drugs, and prescription medications. However, with all of the advertisements conveyed through so many forms of media, it is impossible for the FDA and FTC to confirm the accuracy of all advertisements.
False advertising comes in many forms, and it hurts people in equally numerous ways. When products are depicted dishonestly across the country and internationally, thousands or millions of individuals can lose money, get sick, or even die. Fortunately, victims and their families can hold unethical and fraudulent companies accountable for making false statements by filing civil lawsuits. When enough people are harmed by the same advertisement the claims often get combined into a class action lawsuit.
Individual plaintiffs in Ohio who suffer injuries or losses due to false advertising can ensure their interests are protected and their stories get shared with judges by working with a Columbus class action lawsuit attorney at Leist Warner. We at Leist Warner stand ready to serve as that trusted counselor and legal advocate.
How Is False Advertising Defined?
Enabling legislation for the FTC prohibits any company or person doing business in the United States from engaging in deception. When it comes to ads, the agency recognizes these practices as being deceptive:
- Giving untrue spoken or written descriptions
- Making misleading price claims
- Selling hazardous or systematically defective products or services without adequately disclosing risks
- Failing to disclose pyramid sales structures, which includes network marketing and Ponzi schemes
- Using bait and switch tactics, which means advertising one thing but delivering another
- Issuing guarantees but not meeting those obligations
Note that under federal rules, both telling lies and omitting information that customers would find important constitute deceptive, or false advertising. Again, this is particularly important in terms of health products, when adverse reactions to unlisted ingredients or nondisclosure of information about possible interactions with other foods or medications can put users’ lives in danger.
The state of Ohio also has its own laws and regulations regarding advertising practices, as do trade associations like PhRMA for drug makers and the Beer Institute for brewers. Violating state and voluntary advertising codes can create legal liability for businesses from manufacturers and wholesalers to contractors and storeowners.
A few interesting ways Ohio’s laws regarding false advertising differs from federal statutes involve specificity. For instance, an explanation of the state code prepared by the attorney general highlights prohibited uses of words such as “free” and “new,” as well as calls attention to the importance of stores honoring rain checks for items that have sold out of quickly.
Speak With False Advertising Lawyers in Columbus
When you discover that a company or contractor is lying on its product labels or in its advertisements, you can be fairly sure that you are not be the only person who has been cheated or put at risk. If a misrepresentation has actually cost you money or damaged your health—or in a worst-case scenario, caused the death of a loved one—you should contact an experienced class action attorney at Leist Warner Columbus, Ohio office.
A false advertising lawyer at Leist Warner can help you seek compensation for the harm you suffered as a result of false advertising. A knowledgeable attorney at Leist Warner, who handles many consumer fraud cases. may also be able to make connections between your case and others, potentially creating a class action that ensures that as many victims as possible receive justice and fewer people suffer harm in the future.
Leist Warner is a Columbus, Ohio-based law firm with experience in representing plaintiffs’ class action false advertising suits. Call us today at (614) 222-1000 or fill out this form to share your story.