Most of the calls I get from people looking for an Illinois lawyer referral are legit. Even if they don’t have a case, they have a good question. Then there are some people ….
Recently I got a call from a woman who wanted to sue a makeup company. She felt that their ads said anyone could be beautiful with their products and here she was and she still didn’t have a boyfriend. I wasn’t sure if I was the victim of a prank phone call or not, but I politely advised that I couldn’t help.
But people do sue for false advertising and if you are blatantly lying about what your company or product can do then you are potentially at the risk of facing a class action lawsuit.
Under the law, consumers have a right to know what they are buying. If you say that cigarettes have no known side effects, but in reality know that they can cause lung cancer, heart disease, etc., then you can be sued.
The biggest cases we see these days are for hidden fees. It happens a lot with banks that get you in with a “free” checking account, but in reality they end up charging you a bunch of hidden fees.
What companies can do is fabricate their opinions. Calling something the best is ok. My young son recently saw my wife’s US Magazine on her nightstand and questioned her if it’s true that some of the scenes from the Bachelor were too shocking for TV as the magazine said. That is allowed.
But if you say a sandwich is 12 inches when it’s really 11.5, that’s false advertising and actionable. If Apple or HP or any other computer maker lies about the battery life of their products, that’s actionable even without bad intent. If a company says they are offering items at a big discount, but in reality they just increased their prices only to lower them for the “sale” you may have a case.
Some companies are just dumb. Kellog’s said that eating Mini Wheats could make kids more attentive. Even Donald Trump got sued for his Trump University not being all that it said it would be.
If you want to bring one of these cases, the key thing to note is that it can’t be just you that was harmed, but potentially every consumer of the product. If not, it wouldn’t be cost effective to bring a lawsuit.
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