In Michigan, plaintiff Heather Gilbert has filed a lawsuit against the paparazzi.   

On June 16th, Gilbert’s proposed class action was filed. The complaint centers on alleged misrepresentations regarding the presence of hazardous metals in Paparazzi jewelry.   

Gilbert is the only defendant mentioned in the Paparazzi complaint.   

According to Gilbert’s allegations in her complaint, the plaintiff files this class action on behalf of herself and others who purchased necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and other accessories from Paparazzi.

Plaintiff’s testing reveals that these items contain lead and nickel, contrary to Paparazzi’s claims that its products are lead and nickel free. In direct contrast to Paparazzi’s extensive marketing of its products as lead and nickel-free, the Plaintiff’s independent testing and test results received from other customers have proven that Paparazzi’s products contain high quantities of lead and nickel.

If Defendant Paparazzi had informed consumers, including Plaintiff and proposed class members, that its items included lead and nickel, these consumers would not have purchased the products or would not have paid the prices they did.

Due to Defendant Paparazzi’s wrongdoing, false statements, misrepresentations, and substantial omissions, the Plaintiff and proposed class members have incurred actual damages, including economic losses.   

Gilbert’s complaint provides several examples of Paparazzi’s “lead and nickel free” advertising promises. In addition, it asserts that Paparazzi had complete control over its marketing message due to “zealous governance.”   

Paparazzi regulates the marketing of its consultants’ products with such zeal that it mandates a pre-marketing review: “Any personalized promotional material or advertising attempt must be approved by Paparazzi and its legal department to ensure there are no claims or violations of the Paparazzi trademark, namesake, or other legal issues.” By controlling how consultants are educated, requiring consultants to repeat Paparazzi’s marketing messages, showcasing top consultants and their marketing strategies, and structuring their business so that hierarchical “teams” develop with consistent marketing claims, Paparazzi controls every aspect of product marketing.

In January, We covered the discovery that the jewelry of the paparazzi contained dangerous metals.  Intriguingly, Gilbert portrays the MLM business model of Paparazzi as a “pyramid of roles.” She does not reveal whether or not she is a Paparazzi Consultant, although she claims to have purchased Paparazzi products between 2018 and 2020.   

Ms. Gilbert reasonably thought that Paparazzi’s products were devoid of lead and nickel based on the company’s claims. Ms. Gilbert ordered Paparazzi’s products because she wanted lead-and nickel-free, inexpensive jewelry and accessories.

Ms. Gilbert explicitly relied on Paparazzi’s assurances that its items were lead and nickel free when she made her purchases.

Ms. Gilbert discovered at the beginning of 2022 that Paparazzi’s products were not lead and nickel free as advertised.

When Ms. Gilbert discovered that Paparazzi’s products contained lead and nickel, she ceased purchasing and wearing them.

Ms. Gilbert did not enjoy the benefits of her bargain when she purchased Paparazzi’s nonconforming merchandise.

Ms. Gilbert would not have purchased Paparazzi’s products if she had been aware of the false assertions, misrepresentations, and omissions of the materials present in them.   

If her class action is granted, Gilbert aims to represent “all those in a comparable situation.” Two classes will be formed for Paparazzi’s customers (including consultants and retail customers): a national class and a Michigan subclass.   

Among the specific allegations made against Paparazzi in Gilbert’s complaint are: 

violation of explicit guarantee;   

violation of implied guarantee.   

Pursuant to Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act;   

negligent misrepresentation;   

unfair enrichment;   

violation of the Breach of Express Warranty Statute of Michigan;

and Michigan’s Breach of Implied Warranty Statute violation. 

Six and seven exclusively pertain to the Michigan subclass.   

Gilbert’s class action, if approved, seeks to recover damages for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

damage to a court order forbidding the suspected criminal behavior;

and legal fees. 

In the past few months, four identical class lawsuits have been launched against Paparazzi, according to us: 

New York’s Hollins Complaint;

The  Johnson Grievance (originally filed in North Carolina, moved to Utah),

the Teske Complaint (Utah), as well as the Burgess Complaint (California). 

I anticipate that the five proposed class actions will eventually be combined. This appears to have begun with the transfer of the North Carolina case to Utah (where the company is situated).   

Moving the California case could be problematic due to its extremely precise counts of actions. 

We continue to monitor the case dockets, so stay tuned for updates.

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