A federal judge has freed The J.M. Smucker Co. from facing a class action filed by consumers who challenged the truthfulness of the company’s label claims that certain products were healthy.
Chief U.S. District Judge George King of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on April 15 denied class certification to the plaintiffs, who initially sued Smucker in 2012.
In Lucina Caldera v. Smucker, the plaintiffs argued Smucker misled customers about the healthfulness of the company’s Uncrustables and Crisco Original and Butter Flavor shortening. Read the judge’s ruling here.
The complaint said all three contain trans fatty acids, which have been called contributors to heart disease, and Uncrustables sandwiches contain high fructose corn syrup, which nutritionists say is tied to obesity.
The plaintiffs claimed those ingredients contradicted the label messages of Uncrustables as “Wholesome,” “Homemade Goodness,” and “Whole Wheat.” They also found fault with shortening labels that read “All-Vegetable,” “50% Less Saturated Fat Than Butter,” and “USE INSTEAD OF BUTTER OR MARGARINE FOR BAKING.”
Smucker said it stands by its products and their labels. The company denied it violated California business or consumers laws as the plaintiffs alleged.
The judge faulted the plaintiffs for not identifying a method of proving damages on a class-wide basis and thus denied to certify the class action.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys include Maggie Realin and Alexis Wood, Ronald Marron, APLC; and Paul Joseph, The Weston Firm.
Defendant’s attorneys are Ronald Rothstein and Jason Hamilton, Winston & Strawn, LLP; and Micol Sordina, Weingarten Brown, LLP.
Lisa Hoffman contributes to law.com.