Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
A woman shopping in a grocery store, representing the food lawsuits.
(Photo Credit: Minerva Studio/Shutterstock)

Food, restaurant class action lawsuits overview: 

  • Who: Consumers recently filed lawsuits against Quaker Oats, Dunkin’ Donuts, The Wonderful Co., Health-Ade, Pepperidge Farm and Starbucks.
  • Why: The class action lawsuits involve false advertising claims and/or a failure to disclose allegedly harmful ingredients and/or bacteria. 
  • Where: The lawsuits affect consumers nationwide.

Consumers recently filed lawsuits against food-related companies, arguing they falsely advertised their products and/or failed to disclose that they contained harmful ingredients or bacteria. 

Quaker failed to disclose products may contain salmonella, class action claims

A consumer filed a class action lawsuit against The Quaker Oats Co. in January, claiming the company allegedly failed to disclose consumption of its products could increase the risk of contracting salmonella. 

The class action lawsuit alleges a number of Quaker’s products either contain salmonella or are at risk of containing salmonella, with the issue leading to a December recall the company has since expanded. 

“Plaintiff and those similarly situated … certainly expect that the food products they purchase will not contain, or risk containing, any knowingly harmful substances that cause disease,” the Quaker Oats class action states. 

A consumer filed a separate class action lawsuit in the wake of Quaker Oats recall, arguing the company failed to take the necessary steps to ensure its products are safe

Class action says Dunkin’ discriminated against lactose intolerant customers

A group of ten consumers with milk allergies and/or a lactose intolerance filed a class action lawsuit against Dunkin’ Donuts LLC last month over claims the company imposed an unlawful surcharge for purchases involving non-dairy milk alternatives. 

The class action lawsuit argues Dunkin’s alleged failure to offer a lactose-free option at no extra cost violates the Americans with Disabilities Act as the company’s lactose intolerant customers have to pay more. 

“(Dunkin’) only accommodate(s) those with lactose intolerance or allergies to milk by imposing a surcharge,” the Dunkin’ class action states. 

The surcharge for non-dairy alternatives ranges from 50 cents to $2.15, the lawsuit alleges. 

Fiji bottled water contains microplastics, class action claims

A consumer filed a class action lawsuit against The Wonderful Co. last month, claiming it falsely advertises its Fiji brand bottled water as natural artesian water. 

The class action lawsuit argues the water contains microplastics, which it alleges are dangerous to many organisms, citing a 2018 study that allegedly found 93% of 259 water bottles from 11 brands purchased in nine different countries contained microplastics. 

“Toxic effects of microplastics on the physiology and behavior of marine invertebrates have been extensively documented,” the Fiji class action states.

The class action lawsuit claims The Wonderful Co. is guilty of fraud and unjust enrichment and violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act

Class action says Health-Ade kombucha contains dangerous PFAS 

A consumer filed a class action lawsuit against Health-Ade LLC last month over claims the company’s kombucha product contains dangerous so-called forever chemicals that can cause adverse health effects. 

The class action lawsuit argues Health-Ade falsely advertises its kombucha as natural and organic despite the product testing positive for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

“No reasonable consumer would expect that a product marketed for one’s health would contain dangerous PFAS, which are indisputably linked to harmful health effects in humans,” the class action lawsuit states.

The lawsuit claims exposure to PFAS like those allegedly found in the Health-Ade kombucha products are linked to health issues such as thyroid disorders, immunotoxic effects, various cancers, decreased fertility and liver damage.

Goldfish product falsely advertised as preservative-free, class action claims

A consumer filed a class action lawsuit against Pepperidge Farm Inc. over claims the company falsely advertised that one of its Goldfish branded snack products contain no artificial flavors or preservatives

The class action lawsuit argues the company’s Goldfish Flavor Blasted Baked Snack Crackers contain the preservative citric acid and representations that the product contains no preservatives are misleading to health-conscious consumers. 

“Defendant markets its Products in a systematically misleading manner by misrepresenting that the Products do not contain artificial preservatives,” the Pepperidge Farm class action states. 

The class action lawsuit claims citric acid is a “known artificial preservative commonly used in food products” and that food scientists are in agreement the chemical properties of citric acid make it a preservative. 

Starbucks falsely advertises ethical sourcing of coffee beans, tea leaves, lawsuit says 

The National Consumers League, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, filed a lawsuit against Starbucks last month, claiming the company falsely advertises it ethically sources its coffee beans and tea leaves. 

The lawsuit argues Starbucks actually sources its coffee beans and tea leaves from farms and cooperatives with a documented history of both human rights and labor infractions. 

“Consumers have been misled by Starbucks’ deceptive advertising, and Starbucks, with annual profits exceeding $21 billion, has unjustly benefited from branding itself as an industry leader in corporate responsibility while hiding the true nature of its unreliable and inadequate sourcing practices,” the Starbucks lawsuit states. 

Have you purchased any of these food products? Let us know in the comments.

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