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This article is part two of a two-part examination of product labeling class actions.

In part one of this article, we discussed a recent explosion in the number of consumer product class action filings under state consumer protection statutes. The defense costs associated with these lawsuits, along with the financial pressure to settle if plaintiffs achieve class certification, are confronting consumer goods manufacturers nationwide. Part one detailed a few of the top areas that in-house counsel should think about now to better position the organization, should it become a defendant in one of these class actions. Don’t overlook the following preparatory measures, either.

The risks to consumer goods companies of being a target make the consumer fraud product labeling class action trend reminiscent of Titanic Captain Edward J. Smith’s chilling words: “I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel.” Product labeling litigation can be the unexpected iceberg to any company.

The defense costs associated with these lawsuits, along with the financial pressure to settle if plaintiffs achieve class certification (in order to avoid the risk of juries’ damages awards), are forcefully hitting the wallets of consumer goods manufacturers nationwide. In-house counsel should prepare the lifeboats now to better position the organization should it become a defendant in one of these class actions by considering the following issues.

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