A judge dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit accusing L’Oreal SA of tricking American shoppers into overpaying for its beauty products by making them believe the products came from France.
In a decision on Monday, U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in Manhattan said L’Oreal’s referring to “Paris” and sprinkling French words on packaging would not deceive reasonable consumers about where its shampoo, mascara and other products came from.
The plaintiff, Veronica Eshelby, claimed she had not noticed the fine print before learning that the products she bought were manufactured in L’Oreal’s factory in North Little Rock, Arkansas, or elsewhere in the United States and Canada.
Torres said the case was similar to dismissed lawsuits over references to “Hawaiian” and “Jamaican” on product packaging.
She also said reasonable consumers would understand that “Paris” was part of the brand name “L’Oreal Paris.” L’Oreal is based in Clichy, France, a Paris suburb.
“The front label is not so misleading that a reasonable consumer who cared about the country of manufacture should not be expected to look at the full packaging for a disclaimer, which was clearly and correctly provided,” Torres wrote.
Eshelby lives in Orange County, California. Her lawyers did not immediately respond on Tuesday to requests for comment.
Companies are periodically sued over their products’ origins in U.S. courts.
In 2015, Anheuser-Busch offered refunds to settle a Florida lawsuit claiming it misled consumers into thinking its Beck’s beer was brewed in Germany, not St. Louis, Missouri.
The case is Eshelby v. L’Oreal USA Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-01396.