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Avocado Mattress Lawsuit: What to Know

The lawsuit against Avocado Mattress was dismissed in August 2023. Here's what it was about and what consumers should know.

evident Editorial Team
April 23, 2024
teddy bear on mattress

Avocado Mattress makes mattresses and related products that get strong reviews from customers and media companies alike, all while touting impressive eco-friendly credentials. The company highlights the organic, non-toxic materials in its mattresses and related products.

However, a 2023 lawsuit claimed such advertising was false and alleged that lab testing revealed synthetic chemicals in Avocado mattresses. That lawsuit has now been resolved, but what was the Avocado Mattress lawsuit about? And what should mattress shoppers know about the company?

This article will provide an overview of the Avocado Mattress lawsuit, the allegations, and how they were resolved.

Key Takeaways

Avocado Mattress: Company Background

Avocado Mattress LLC is a certified B-Corporation that was founded in 2016. According to the company's website, Avocado mattresses are designed in New Jersey and made in the company's California factory, with "environmentally conscious, ethical, and sustainable business practices across our entire supply chain."

Additionally, the company notes its mattresses are GOTS-certified organic products. (GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard). The company's website also spotlights the various awards and accolades the company's mattresses have received, including being Climate Neutral certified.

In addition to mattresses, Avocado products include mattress toppers, pillows, bedding, and more.

Avocado Mattress's hard-earned reputation as an organic, environmentally-friendly company was thrown into doubt, however, when a lawsuit was filed alleging its products contained synthetic chemicals.

Avocado Mattress Lawsuit: Overview

courtroom, benches, seats

The Avocado Mattress lawsuit was filed in federal court in California on April 28, 2023, and alleged that the company was misrepresenting its products to consumers.

While the company advertises its latex products as natural, organic, and non-toxic, the proposed class action lawsuit alleged some of its products contained potentially harmful substances. The plaintiffs claim that such an alleged discrepancy between the company's advertising and the content of its products amounts to misrepresentation and false advertising, violating the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act among other laws.

Lawsuit Allegations

The plaintiffs, Richard Roberts and Akeem Pina, alleged that "[c]ontrary to its longstanding, pervasive marketing, Avocado’s mattresses contain synthetic, toxic chemicals." Specifically, the complaint claimed that independent testing of Avocado Mattresses in a lab identified potentially harmful chemicals, including:

  • Wingstay-L
  • Pentyl Furan
  • ZDEC
  • DPG
  • Naphthenic hydrocarbon oils

The complaint also noted that Avocado "repeatedly touts" that its products are MADE SAFE Certified, suggesting that the designation is not actually warranted given the alleged presence of toxic chemicals in its latex mattresses and other products.

The core thrust of the proposed class action lawsuit was that these claims were false and that they induced the plaintiffs to purchase Avocado's products at higher prices than they would otherwise have paid if they had purchased them at all.

The Company's Response

The company steadfastly denied the allegations and stood by its environmental credentials. The company published an article highlighting some of those credentials, stating that they use Certified Organic materials and noting that the company's latex foam has received certifications, including GOLS certification, eco-INSTITUT labeling, and Forest Stewardship Council certification.

That article noted the GOLS certification "ensures that our latex foam comes from organic sources and meets stringent organic criteria." (GOLS stands for Global Organic Latex Standard).

Indeed, a potentially favorable characteristic of the company's business model is part of what opened it up to the lawsuit. Avocado Mattress company is vertically integrated, which means that they co-own their entire supply chain, from the farms where they source their materials to the factory where they make mattresses.

Because the company is vertically integrated, the plaintiffs argue the company knows exactly where its materials come from and "cannot claim ignorance" as to what materials are or are not part of its supply chain. Thus, a potentially favorable characteristic, and one that allows the company to ensure the quality of the materials that go into making their mattresses, sets it apart from other mattress companies who might not make as easy targets in this regard.

But again, the company maintained that the allegations in the Avocado Mattress lawsuit were baseless from the time that it was filed.

Resolution to the Avocado Mattress Lawsuit

gavel, law, justice

So, what is the latest update on the Avocado Mattress lawsuit? The proposed class action lawsuit was dismissed on August 11, 2023.

According to the website LeafScore, Avocado Mattress reportedly said via email: "We are pleased to report that the proposed class-action lawsuit against Avocado has been dismissed. As is common in these legal matters, we cannot discuss further details, but we are glad to put this issue behind us."

With the lawsuit in the rearview, the company continues to stack up awards and accolades. Indeed, Homes & Gardens rated the Avocado Green Mattress the "Best Organic Mattress Overall" in November 2023 following the dismissal of the lawsuit.

The Bottom Line

Prospective mattress customers can rest assured that the Avocado Mattress lawsuit has been dismissed. Shoppers can and should do their own research and evaluate what things they want to prioritize when making a purchase.

Avocado Mattresses have strong reviews and environmentally-friendly certifications, and the reality is that they are far from the only mattress company to face legal challenges in recent years (see Nectar and Zinus' lawsuits as examples).