A putative class action has been filed in a federal court in Florida against POM Wonderful, LLC and its holding company, alleging that the defendants deceived consumers in the state by making health-benefit claims for POM’s pomegranate juices, pills, extracts, and concentrated liquids. Cortez v. POM Wonderful, LLC, No. 10-23680 (S.D. Fla., filed October 13, 2010).

Alleging damages in excess of $5 million, the named plaintiff cites the Food and Drug Administration’s warning letter to the company and the Federal Trade Commission’s recently filed administrative complaint to support claims that the company’s representation about its products are “false and misleading.” Among the product claims alleged to be false are that it will prevent, mitigate and/or treat atherosclerosis, blood flow/pressure, prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, LDL cholesterol, and other age-related medical conditions.

Seeking to certify a statewide class of consumers who bought the products from September 29, 2006, to the present, the plaintiff alleges violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and unjust enrichment. He seeks compensatory damages, costs and attorney’s fees.

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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.