The Honest Company is back in the news, this time over news that the company has “settled a lawsuit in New York claiming it fraudulently labeled dozens of home and personal care products as natural, plant-based or chemical-free.” Though the terms of the class action lawsuit settlement have yet to be disclosed, lawyers for both the company and the plaintiffs have said that “they expect to seek preliminary approval shortly.”
News of this recent settlement comes on the heels of another class action lawsuit The Honest Company settled last week in federal court in Los Angeles for $1.55 million. That particular lawsuit was filed because the plaintiffs claimed the company “sold laundry detergent, dish soap and surface cleaners containing a skin irritant it had pledged to avoid.” The issue was discovered when the Wall Street Journal launched an investigation into The Honest Company back in March of 2016 and “found that Honest detergent contained a chemical it promised to leave out.” It turns out the company “advertised its detergent as free of sodium lauryl sulfate, a common cleaning agent, and said it used the gentler sodium coco sulfate instead.” However, the investigation concluded that “SLS is a component of SCS,” prompting a number of lawsuits against the company.
In the lawsuit settled earlier this week in New York, Brad Buonasera, the plaintiff in the case, specifically “accused Honest of misleadingly marketing at least 41 items including bubble bath, children’s toothpaste, floor cleaners, laundry detergent, and soap.” According to the lawsuit, Buonasera asserted that many Honest Company products “were labeled natural, all natural, naturally derived, plant-based and no harsh chemicals, but actually contained a spectacular array of synthetic and toxic ingredients.”
But this isn’t the first time The Honest Co. has come under fire. In addition to the two previously mentioned lawsuits, the company was sued by a customer back in 2015 who claimed “its sunscreen doesn’t work and isn’t really natural,” and in 2016 the “Organic Consumers Association filed a suit claiming that Honest baby formula contains ingredients that aren’t really organic.” While the case surrounding the baby formula has been dismissed, the sunscreen case is “still being litigated.”
Despite agreeing to the settlement, Jessica Alba’s company has denied the accusations in both lawsuits, “and last week said it stood behind its products’ safety and effectiveness.” So far, lawyers one both sides of the aisle have not immediately responded to requests for comment.