In a 30-page ruling on Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived a New Jersey statewide class action against Snapple (pdf), finding that federal regulation does not pre-empt consumer fraud claims involving Snapple’s “All Natural” labeling.
The case began when a New Jersey woman named Stacy Holk bought two bottles of Snapple on May 4, 2007, paying the “premium price” of $1.09 for each. Holk was apparently surprised and distressed to discover that her Snapple, which was labeled “All Natural,” contained high-fructose corn syrup. Represented by Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer and Tunney & Halbfish, she filed a class action in New Jersey state court, alleging consumer fraud and breach of warranty. (Holk also at first made claims involving Snapple’s “Made from the best stuff on earth” slogan, but she later dropped them.)
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