Claims Cut From One Suit While Pret A Manger Faces Another
A New York federal court has dismissed allegations from a putative class action arguing that Pret A Manger Ltd. sold sandwich wraps with excess slack fill between the wrap’s halves. Lau v. Pret A Manger (USA) Ltd., No. 17-5775 (S.D.N.Y., entered September 28, 2018). The court held that the plaintiffs lacked standing for an injunction despite their argument that they would consider purchasing the wraps in the future, finding “no sufficient basis for inferring that plaintiffs would ever seek to purchase a Pret wrap again as long as the status quo persists.”
The court also disagreed with the plaintiffs’ argument that the slack fill in the wraps amounted to an intent to defraud consumers. “Specifically, plaintiffs state that less than half, or 45 percent, or Pret wraps surveyed contained slack-fill,” the court noted. “Drawing all reasonable inferences in plaintiffs’ favor, the Court finds that the facts are insufficient to nudge the plaintiffs’ allegations of intent ‘across the line from conceivable to plausible.'” The court dismissed the allegation of fraud under New York law but allowed other New York consumer-protection allegations to continue.
Pret also faces a putative class action challenging its use of “natural” to describe its products because they allegedly contain traces “an unnatural biocide.” Daly v. Pret A Manger Ltd., No. 18-5368 (E.D.N.Y., filed September 24, 2018). The plaintiffs argue that “[r]easonable consumers do not expect a synthetic chemical with suspected health concerns to be found in a product marketed as ‘natural,’ which makes Pret A Manger’s ‘Natural Food’ representation a misrepresentation.”