Seeking to certify a nationwide settlement class, excluding California consumers, in litigation against the company that makes the hazelnut spread Nutella®, two named plaintiffs alleging deceptive product marketing have filed their brief in support of preliminary approval of a class settlement. In re: Nutella Mktg. & Sales Practices Litig., No. 11-1086 (D.N.J., brief filed January 10, 2012). According to the plaintiffs, the company has agreed to cease the advertising at issue, begin a revised and corrective labeling and advertising campaign, change its website, and establish a $2.5 million settlement fund. Under the proposed agreement, settlement class members could submit claims for $4 per jar purchased during the class period and recover up to a maximum of $20. Nutella would also apparently agree not to oppose class counsel fees less than $3 million. According to the plaintiffs’ brief, similar litigation pending in California is also being settled.

Twelve named plaintiffs in four separate class action lawsuits are seeking final approval of a settlement agreement with Galeos, LLC, which allegedly misstated the fat, calorie, sodium, and carbohydrate content on its salad dressing labels. Cooperman v. Galeos, LLC, No. 10-01815 (C.D. Cal., notice filed January 9, 2012). In their notice of joint motion for final approval, the parties indicate that the class of all U.S. citizens who purchased the products will receive refunds, the defendants will test its products semi-annually for the next five years “to ensure accurate product labels,” and the named representatives will receive $500 each. No agreement has apparently been reached on class counsel 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.