Jessica Alba's Honest Co settles second labeling lawsuit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Honest Co, the shopping website co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, has settled a lawsuit in New York claiming it fraudulently labeled dozens of home and personal care products as natural, plant-based or chemical-free.

Actress Jessica Alba, co-founder of The Honest Company, speaks during the TechCrunch Disrupt event in Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Terms of the settlement in the proposed class action were not disclosed in a Monday filing in Manhattan federal court, but lawyers for Honest and the plaintiffs said they expect to seek preliminary approval shortly.

Lawyers for Honest and the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The accord was disclosed one week after Honest reached a $1.55 million settlement of a federal lawsuit in Los Angeles claiming it sold laundry detergent, dish soap and surface cleaners containing a skin irritant it had pledged to avoid.

In the New York case, the plaintiff Brad Buonasera accused Honest of misleadingly marketing at least 41 items including bubble bath, children’s toothpaste, floor cleaners, laundry detergent and soap.

He contended that the products were labeled “natural,” “all natural,” “naturally derived,” “plant-based” and “no harsh chemicals (ever!),” but actually contained “a spectacular array of synthetic and toxic ingredients.”

Some of the ingredients or labels had been changed by the time the lawsuit was filed, Buonasera said.

Honest has denied the claims in both lawsuits, and last week said it stood behind its products’ safety and effectiveness.

Alba was not named as a defendant.

The case is Buonasera et al v. Honest Co, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-01125.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Diane Craft