A class action lawsuit has been filed against the Colgate-Palmolive Company and Tom’s of Maine after Plaintiffs discovered that Tom’s Wicked Fresh! Mouthwash contains PFAS. (Tom’s of Maine is a majority-owned subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive.) The complaint alleges that the companies are violating California’s False Advertising Law, California’s Unfair Competition Law, and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. The complaint also alleges breach of express warranty, fraud, constructive fraud, and unjust enrichment.
Tom’s Wicked Fresh! Mouthwash is marketed as a “natural” mouthwash. However, the complaint asserts that independent, third-party testing revealed multiple PFAS substances are present at material levels in the product. The complaint argues that the representation of the product as “natural” implies that it is free from unnatural and artificial ingredients. The complaint notes that the presence of PFAS and other synthetic ingredients is not disclosed on the product label. It also argues that consumers are willing to pay a premium for natural products. Plaintiffs assert that the “natural” claims are false statements, misleading representation, and material omissions. In addition, they argue that customers would not be willing to pay a premium for the product or would not purchase it at all if they knew that the product contained PFAS and artificial ingredients. The complaint asks the court to award restitution on the basis of unjust enrichment.