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California Ruling Allows Consumers to Sue Over Misleading Labels

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California Ruling Allows Consumers to Sue Over Misleading Labels

The California Supreme Court has ruled that residents who purchase products with misleading or false labels can sue the manufacturer without having to prove the product was overpriced or did not work. The decision resolved a long battle between California consumers and businesses, as exemplified by a lawsuit between them and Kwikset.

Kwikset had put "Made in the U.S.A." labels on locksets and sold more than two dozen products with this labeling, even though the products had been assembled overseas or had foreign parts. Three consumers who purchased the locksets were unable to sue due to Proposition 63, which bars consumers from pursuing legal action in the event that they are not hurt or have not lost money, The Los Angeles Times reported.

"Simply stated: Labels matter," Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar wrote for the court, the source noted.

"Whether a particular food is kosher or halal may be of enormous consequence to an observant Jew or Muslim. Whether wine is from a particular locale may matter to the oenophile who values subtle regional difference," she added.