A federal court has dismissed a putative class action alleging
Monini North America’s truffle olive oils do not contain truffles,
holding that the plaintiffs’ concession that the oil tasted and
smelled like truffles was fatal to their claims. Jessani v. Monini N.
Am., No. 17-3257 (S.D.N.Y., entered August 3, 2017). Additional
details about the complaint appear in Issue 633 of this Update.

To prevail on a claim of deceptive advertising, a plaintiff must
allege that the deceptive behavior was likely to mislead a
reasonable customer, the court noted, but Monini’s product label
calls the product “White Truffle Flavored Olive Oil” and identifies
only two ingredients: olive oil and aroma. “Courts routinely
conclude that where a product describes itself as substance-flavored
despite not containing the actual substance, and the
ingredient label truthfully reflects that fact, as a matter of law the
product would not confuse a reasonable consumer acting
reasonably under the circumstances,” the court held. In addition,
the court dismissed the plaintiffs’ warranty claims, finding that
the complaint did not allege the product was unfit for use as a
flavored oil.

 

Issue 643

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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