“Heart-Check Mark” Misleads, Consumer Alleges
A consumer has filed a putative class action alleging StarKist Co. misleads consumers by displaying the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Mark on its products. Warner v. StarKist Co., No. 18-0406 (N.D.N.Y., filed April 4, 2018). The complaint asserts, “Reasonable consumers see the Heart-Check Mark and mistakenly believe that a product with a Heart-Check Mark is healthier than a product without a Heart-Check Mark. In fact, a food manufacturer must pay the American Heart Association  in order to place the Heart-Check Mark on its products. The Heart-Check Mark is a paid endorsement.” The plaintiff alleges that StarKist “takes advantage of health-conscious consumers who are looking for heart-healthy foods by manipulating them in to believing that Star-Kist’s products are more heart-healthy than products sold by other food manufacturers.” Alleging violations of New York’s consumer-protection statutes as well as unjust enrichment, the plaintiff seeks class certification, damages and attorney’s fees.