On August 1, 2017, plaintiff Raymond Alvandi filed a putative class action in California federal court against Annie’s, Inc., seeking damages and injunctive and declaratory relief. Alvandi alleges that Annie’s misrepresented the strawberry content and nutritional and health qualities of its “Summer Strawberry” Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks. Alvandi seeks to represent a nationwide class of all consumers of Annie’s Strawberry Fruit Snacks in the last six years, as well as a subclass of those who purchased the fruit snacks in California. He claims that the court has jurisdiction pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act, alleging that there are at least several thousand putative class members and that the amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000. Alvandi alleges that over the last six years, Annie’s marketing practices have been deceptive, trying to convince consumers that its Strawberry Fruit Snacks actually contain strawberries and are a nutritious and healthful option. Instead, the only fruit-related byproduct in the Strawberry Fruit Snacks is “Pear Juice From Concentrate,” which is essentially a neutral tasting form of sugar.
On March 22, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California dismissed a putative class action against Saks Inc. alleging that Saks advertised “phantom markdowns” of Saks-branded products. The Plaintiff alleged that he purchased a pair of men’s shoes “valued” by Saks at $145 but sold at a discounted price of $79.99. The plaintiff claimed that he only bought the shoes because he believed he was receiving a significant value and that Saks’s $145 market price was false and misleading.
On December 22, 2016, a federal District Court Judge in the Northern District of California denied certification of three proposed classes of statewide consumers who purchased or leased certain Ford Fusion or Ford Focus vehicles. The plaintiffs allege that their vehicles contain defective Electronic Power Assisted Steering (“EPAS”) systems prone to sudden and premature failure during normal driving situations. The plaintiffs claim that Ford knew as early as 2007 that the EPAS system was defective, and Ford fraudulently concealed this defect. The plaintiffs also contend they paid more for their cars than they would have if Ford had disclosed the defect. The plaintiffs brought causes of action for (1) common law fraudulent concealment; (2) violation of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”); (3) implied warranty under California’s Song-Beverly Act; and (4) implied warranty under the federal Magnuson-Moss Act.
A new putative consumer class action claiming damages in excess of $5,000,000 was filed earlier this month in the Northern District of California against Goya Foods, Inc. (“Goya”). The plaintiff, a purchaser of Goya octopus products from the website Amazon.com, alleges that Goya tricked consumers into purchasing its products by labeling them as octopus when in reality, the products contained jumbo squid. The plaintiff alleges that independent DNA testing showed that Goya’s products were in fact jumbo squid, which is significantly cheaper and of lower quality than octopus.