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Purple Mattress Lawsuit: Was the Powder Toxic (w/Purple Commentaries)
Detailed Storyline + Results of the PurpleMattress Lawsuit
✔️ Takeaway: Honest Mattress Reviews made claims against Purple . They claim the purple powder they used was harmful. However, it turned out Ghostbed was partially behind this. The powder has since been found to be harmless.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes 28 seconds.
1 year ago in 2017 the mattress world was shocked by the Purplemattress lawsuit. It was a lawsuit from Purple against the owner of Honest Mattress Review (and the owner Ryan Monahan). Since this site is about getting good sleep - and mattresses are a critical part of this - we decided to write a full description of what exactly happened with the Purplemattress lawsuit.
How the Purplemattress lawsuit started: Honest Mattress Reviews
Everything started 2 years ago in 2016, when the site Honest Mattress Reviews started attacking Purple with claims that their mattress contains harmful powders: namely anti-tack powder, that allegedly caused irreversible harm to the body (claims were found untrue).
Well, it turned out that the attack was coordinated by Mark Werner, CEO of GhostBed and Ryan Monahan, owner of Honest Mattress Reviews. The attack was made as an attempt to increase Ghostbed sales. (You can read my Ghostbed Review here)
Of course, Purple couldn’t let these claims go unanswered and started replying. I won’t write down the entire timeline, as Purple did their perfectly well on their own website.
Monahan and Werner begin correspondence about the attack on Purple.
Honest Mattress Reviews claimed that the Purplemattress contained anti-tack powder that caused irreversible harm to the body.
Purple began seeing powder comments and reached out to Werner to Ask Ghostbed to stop making claims. The comments cease and they temporarily stop.
The Honest mattress reviews website is created.
Monahan and Werner start attempts to conceal Monahans connection to Ghostbed.
A new Marketing Director is hired for Ghostbed, but she reports internally to Monahan.
Powder comments resume, but this time from the Honest Mattress Reviews website. Monahan begins a daily attack on Purple, including video’s, posts (including from fake accounts) and filed complaints.
Purple decides to pursue legal options to stop the cotinuation of false information being published by Ghostbed via HMR.
Werner and Monahan file false declarations with the Court denying their business relationship.
Court finds evidence that shows Monahans company, Social Media Sharks, i s being paid $10,000 a month by Ghostbed through a company called Achieve. This has totaled almost $150,000 in payments since September 2016. The court feels not all invoices have been reported, meaning that the number could be higher.
Honorable Judge Bee Denson rants Purple a Preliminary injuction, finding Monahan and Werner were not honest with the Court of with consumers and that they purposefully created and shared false and misleading information about the Purplemattress.
Video explaining the situation:
Easy video explaining how the situation started.
Who is Ryan Monahan?
This information comes from Ryan's website Social Media Sharks.
Ryan has been into internet marketing for a long time - he started in the early 2000s and created a company that focused on search engine optimization shortly after Google started.
He started Honest mattress reviews in 2016. This site is part of a larger network of sites that provide (apparently) non-biased reviews to customers.
Instead of working through affiliate commissions (which makes many online mattress sites unreliable - they simply sell the mattress with the highest commission), his philosophy is that the only way a review site can stay neutral is by using ads (Google Adsense for example).
This is a good approach, since it gives customers a non-biased viewpoint. However, it seems that something went wrong with this strategy when Ghostbed contacted him.
You can follow him here on Twitter (although he doesn't seem to be active anymore after the 19th of November 2016). His company account from Social Media Sharks is still active.
How safe is the Purple Polyethylene powder?
Purple does use powder in their mattress. But this is down to compress the mattress into the cylinder packaging. So it's necessary to deliver the mattress to you. The powder is actually patented, in order that no other company can use this technology. (Purple recently filed their 103rd patent)
A good question to discuss in this Purplemattress lawsuit article is how safe the powder is. As you've seen before, the main claim from Monahan was that the polyethylene powder used in the Purplemattress was hazardous.
Science, however, has debunked this. See what's stated here by Savannah, the head of communications from Purple in this Reddit thread:
Polyethylene is the most common form of plastic produced in the world and is found virtually everywhere in the U.S.” -“Polyethylene powder is used in cosmetic products such as mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, eye shadows, face powders, and foundations.” -“The measured particle levels detected are hundreds of times lower than health-protective standards established by the U.S. EPA...even [for] sensitive individuals. -“Average daily breathing zone exposure levels to consumers is expected to decrease over time.” -“Respirable polyethylene … particles that reach deep lung will not be absorbed and distributed around the body.” -“Likely exposures of inhaled polyethylene co-polymer would be considered safe with a significant margin of safety.” -“This analysis provides high confidence that adverse health effects will not occur in any consumers from inhaling or touching [Purple’s] powder that may migrate from a Purple® mattress over the lifetime of the mattress.” -“Exposures would be hundreds of times lower than everyday particulate dust levels that have been determined to be safe even for sensitive individuals."
So as you can see, there's no reason to worry about the safety of the Purplemattress.
Purple also wrote a detailed article describing the powder and what exactly the function is of the powder.
You can read the article here, but if you're curious - here is an overview of the main points about the Purple powder:
It is NOT a talc powder. Talc is a mineral and our plastic powder contains no talc whatsoever, or any mineral for that matter.
It is chemically inactive, AKA an inert substance.
It is a food-contact-grade material, meaning that this family of plastic materials can be used for eating utensils, children’s toys, etc.
It is 100% non-toxic and is completely harmless.
You can think of it being as safe as eating with a plastic fork, so you can rest easy on our bed! In fact, it may be even safer—no Purple product ever stabbed anyone in the lip!
Results of the Purplemattress lawsuit:
Nonbiasedreviews has a good overview of what the results were of the lawsuit. Especially speculating what the results were for the Honest Mattress Reviews website. It goes without saying that Purple defending themselves from the claims has been good publicity (although some people argue that suing reviewers is bad practice - and that Purple made a mistake with that).
Here's Nonbiasedreviews on the results for Honest Mattress Reviews:
Not being an insider or a lawyer, I don’t really know the result of the lawsuit. I did however, notice a downward spiral from Honest Mattress reviews once the connection with Ghostbed was revealed. Honest Mattress had previously taken the stance (and attacked me) that the only way to review a mattress was to use advertising, as he felt that using affiliate links made you biased. Of course, working for Ghostbed didn’t make him biased did it?
Want to know more about the Purplemattress?
After reading all this about the PurpleMattress lawsuit, you’re probably curious about the Purplemattress, right? Well, you can read more in-depth information here in my PurpleMattress review.