February 23, 2024

Lawsuits pertaining to the food business need a defendant to be at fault. Frequently, we discover that a business is attempting to mislead its clients, but occasionally, the clients themselves may make some quite absurd assertions.It is true that the majority of lawsuits are rather simple, but a couple of them were particularly noteworthy and garnered international attention. While some class-action lawsuits were legitimate, others appeared to be petty attempts to hold the food business accountable for something they weren’t involved in. These are eleven cases involving the food industry that are so ludicrous, unbelievable, and shocking.

10 How Much Dry Ginger There Is in Canada

Because of its carbonation and, of course, the (naturally medicinal) ginger, ginger ale is frequently used to treat fevers and common stomachaches. However, Julie Fletcher filed a federal complaint in 2018 after noticing that the term “ginger” was missing from Canada Dry’s ingredient label. The components listed for Canada Dry are carbonated water, citric acid, sodium benzoate, high-fructose corn syrup, natural flavors, and caramel color. Michael J. DeBenedictis, Fletcher’s attorney, claims that Fletcher thought Canada Dry was employing ginger root in their soda and therefore thought it would be a healthier substitute for ordinary sodas.The corporation argued that the “natural flavoring” that is included in the ingredients is made using ginger. An other source of confusion for Fletcher might have been a 2011 Canada Dry commercial featuring a farmer and a ginger crop. Nor does it help if the label reads, “Made from Real Ginger.”A comparable action was brought in Missouri against Dr Pepper, the company that produces Canada Dry. Tests in the lab showed that there was no ginger in Canada Dry. The business maintained that ginger was there even if the lab tests were unable to identify it. In the end, the plaintiff requested that the claim be dismissed.[1]

9 A customer sued Popeyes after he choked on one of their foods.

When someone chokes on food, it’s usually because they ate it too quickly or didn’t make sure they chewed it well enough before swallowing. It appears that when a Mississippian man sued Popeyes, this was not the case. His grievance? He didn’t receive a knife with his drive-thru order, so he had to eat a big piece of fried chicken with his hands, which finally caused him to choke on his food.
Paul Newton Jr., the guy who sued Popeyes for this injustice, claims that at the time of the incident in late 2015, all he got was a spork. He placed an order for a soft drink, a biscuit, and two chicken breasts with rice and red beans. The dinner arrived with napkins, salt and pepper packets, and a spork, just like with any other order. He began eating his rice and beans with his spork while he was on his way back to his office. He claimed that he began to seriously choke on his food since he was eating the chicken with his bare hands because he had forgotten to bring a plastic knife.Newtown filed a lawsuit against Popeyes for failing to provide a plastic knife with his meal, as well as for pain and suffering, as well as for medical costs incurred because they had to have emergency surgery to cut the piece of chicken out of his throat. Ultimately, though, Newton abandoned the lawsuit.[2]

8 McDonald’s Filed A Million-Dollar Lawsuit Regarding Two Cheese Slices

A $5 million lawsuit was launched in 2018 by two Floridians against the fast food chain, alleging that they have been charging customers an additional $1 for cheese bits on their hamburgers that they did not request or receive. It was Leonard Werner who discovered that, despite his request for a cheese-free hamburger, McDonald’s was charging him more for a Quarter Pounder with cheese.Werner claims that while the McDonald’s restaurant menus do not feature a Quarter Pounder without cheese, their app menu does. This implies that as many as 25 million consumers may have been overcharged, and in the event that the judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs, each of them may be entitled to a free sandwich and $10. McDonald’s, though, is certain that won’t occur. They believe that the case has “no legal merit.”[3]

7 Ineffective Froot Loops

A guy named Roy Werbel gained notoriety in 2009 when he attempted to sue Kellogg’s for deceptive advertising that misled him into thinking Froot Loops contained real, wholesome fruit. Because Werbel had failed to properly serve Kellogg’s, the complaint was dismissed without prejudice. He returned shortly after to resume the conversation and ensure that Kellogg’s was served properly. However, Werbel’s troubles with the complaint went beyond simply serving the defendant properly…In the prior litigation, two federal courts raised several important arguments. To begin with, the term “Froot” does not imply that the cereal contains actual fruit. “Froot” is a fictional term, and actual fruit cannot take the shape of “loops.” Due to this same incorrect premise, Kellogg’s has been sued at least four times about Froot Loops (counting Werbel’s twice).[4]

6 Greek Yogurt Recipes That Don’t Quite Fit

In 2014, the creators of Chobani Greek Yogurt were sued by two individuals who said their goods had nothing Greek at all. This put the company in legal hot water. They claim that the nutritional value of Chobani’s Greek Yogurt is comparable to that of a fudge ice cream bar. Given that it has the same 16 grams of sugar as a Nestle Fudge ice cream bar, this is actually accurate. Additionally, they contended that Chobani’s products are not even manufactured in Greece and that by putting a “0%” on their label without providing any clarification, they further confuse consumers.The two men who brought the class-action complaint are Allan Chang of Queens and Barry Stoltz of Scarsdale. After being duped into thinking that there are no calories or sugar on the label, they requested an undisclosed sum of money as compensation for their losses. (The product is truly nonfat; this is indicated by the “0%”). In retaliation, Chobani stated that the term “Greek” on their yogurt products only describes their manufacturing process, not the origin of the yogurt. Additionally, they mentioned how they had successfully gotten a comparable lawsuit dismissed in California.[5]

5 “Eating Quick Food Made Me Fat!” Legal action

Caesar Barber, a 56-year-old New Yorker, launched a class-action lawsuit in 2002 against many fast food chains, including Wendy’s, KFC, McDonald’s, and Burger King, alleging that their unhealthy menu items were endangering his health. In his case, Barber alleges that fast food establishments, where he once dined four or five times a week (even after having a serious heart attack), failed to adequately tell him of all the contents in their cuisine. “They never explained to him what he was eating,” he stated in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America.Samuel Hirsch, Barber’s attorney, asserts that it is the fast food industry’s duty to alert consumers to the risks associated with eating its products. Barber believes that he developed diabetes and suffered major damage, including two heart attacks, as a result of the fast food firms implicated. A food industry spokeswoman found it hard to accept that Barber presented his legal case with a straight face. Barber’s case was the first to assert that the fast food industry knew it was contributing to the obesity crisis in the United States, despite the claims of several doctors’ associations and nutrition advocates that the food industry should share part of the blame for the rising obesity rate.[6] In 2003, a judge dismissed Barber’s case.

4 The “Jello Beans Contain Sugar?” Legal action

A Californian woman sued Jelly Belly’s manufacturers in 2017 after they misled her into thinking one of their products was sugar-free. Jessica Gomez has a complaint regarding Jelly Belly’s Sport Beans, a product that is advertised as an energy supplement that includes carbohydrates, vitamins, and electrolytes.[7] The issue lies in the ingredients list, which refers to “evaporated cane juice” rather than sugar specifically.According to Gomez’s class-action lawsuit, the label’s wording purposely confuses health-conscious consumers and violates the state’s unfair business practices, consumer legal remedies act, and false advertising statute. In an attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed, Jelly Belly termed the case “nonsense,” claiming that no sane consumer could overlook the amount of sugar disclosed on the “Nutrition Facts” panel of their product. The Food and Drug Administration, on the other hand, supports Gomez; in 2016, they declared that the term “juice” should only be applied to fruit or vegetable juice.

3 Defiantly Advertised Ingredients in Krispy Kreme

In 2016, a man from Los Angeles filed a complaint against Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, alleging that the company had misrepresented the contents of their doughnuts with maple frosting and fruit filling. Jason Saidian filed a $5 million lawsuit against the pastry chain, claiming that their pastries did not include the “premium ingredients” that were advertised. Because Krispy Kreme’s “Chocolate Iced Raspberry Filled,” “Glazed Raspberry Filled,” “Maple Bar,” and “Glazed Blueberry Cake” doughnuts don’t actually include any real raspberries, maple, or blueberries, Saidian claims that the company engages in “false and misleading business practices.”[8]Because the firm had utilized actual fruit in other products, such as the “Glazed Lemon Filled” and “Glazed Strawberry Filled” doughnuts, Saidian claimed to feel deceived. He said that he would not have bothered to buy the other doughnuts if he had realized that they were devoid of real blueberries, raspberries, or maple syrup. In 2017, the matter was voluntarily dismissed.

2 The “Why Isn’t Nutella A Health Food?” Legal action

Ferrero USA, the company that makes Nutella, lost a class-action lawsuit in 2012 against a mother who said she was duped into believing the product was healthy for her children. Any US citizen who bought a bottle of Nutella between January 1, 2008, and February 3, 2012, is eligible to submit a claim as part of the settlement. Residents of California, specifically those living between August 1, 2009, and January 23, 2012, had various dates. Consumers could submit claims for up to five jars of Nutella until July 5, 2012, and if they were successful, they would receive $4 back every jar, with a maximum reimbursement of $20 per family.The parent from California who filed the class-action complaint, Athena Hohenberg, said that she gave her four-year-old daughter Nutella after seeing the commercials that promoted the spread as a component of a nutritious breakfast. When she realized that Nutella was essentially a candy bar, she was astounded. The Nutella company acknowledged that their marketing effort was deceptive, but they also acknowledged that the case received some online mockery. Since then, Nutella has updated its packaging and advertising to properly disclose the ingredients of its chocolate spread to consumers.[9]

1 Subway’s Footlengths Are Insufficient

A snapshot of a Subway footlong sandwich taken by an Australian youngster in 2013 showed the sandwich measuring only 28 centimeters (11 in) rather than the promised 30 centimeters (12 in) as was typically depicted in the media. His message went viral and provoked a backlash from the public, sparking a class-action lawsuit. In order to guarantee greater consistency in their bread, Subway agreed to settle in 2016 and pledged to make sure their bread rolls would be at least 12 inches long. The director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness objected to the settlement just as the plaintiff lawyers were about to receive $520,000 in fees. He claimed that the class in the complaint was awarded “negligible to no relief.”The case’s judge concurred that the attorneys’ interests were the only ones to profit from the settlement. In the end, the settlement was rejected in 2017. This was due to a few crucial details that severely undermined the argument. First off, most of the bread offered for sale at Subway restaurants was at least 12 inches long; the bread that fell short of that mark was barely by a quarter of an inch. Furthermore, the weight of each raw dough stick used to bake the bread at Subway locations is precisely the same. Owing to the inherent nature of the baking process, certain loaves may come out marginally broader and shorter than others. Finally, every sandwich has the same quantity of meat and cheese, so even if it is slightly shorter than 12 inches, it still has the same amount of ingredients. This is because the amount of meat and cheese in every sandwich is standardized.[10]

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