General Mills Fruit Flavored Snacks Class Action Lawsuit Plaintiffs Asks For Settlement Approval For The 2nd Time
Consumers are petitioning a federal judge in California to accept their settlement with General Mills for the second time, claiming that the company deceptively advertised its fruit snacks as being free of artificial flavors.
First Settlement Proposal, Rejected
US District Judge M. James Lorenz earlier this year rejected an initial proposed settlement owing to concerns about collusion, stating that the class would receive no monetary award, while counsel would receive $725,000 in fees and costs, and each named Plaintiff would receive $5,000.
The company would also receive a “kicker,” which means that any unpaid settlement payments would have been given back to the company rather than being used in a way that could benefit the class.
Consumers’ counsel and General Mills have returned to Lorenz with an amended settlement that compels General Mills to fully remove the “no artificial flavors” label from 151 goods, rather than placing an asterisk with a disclaimer as required by the previous settlement. Additionally, it restricts attorney costs to $600,000 and eliminates the kicker.
Crystal Hilsley v. General Mills Inc., et al
Details about the Lawsuit
Chrystal Hilsley, the lead plaintiff on the case, claimed that she was fooled into shelling out $2 to $3 for the fruit snacks that featured TV and movie characters. According to the plaintiff, everything about the product, such as its packaging and labeling, is made out to give people the idea that they’re buying top all-natural products with natural flavors, but they allegedly get artificially flavored products.
There are other companies involved in the case, such as General Mills Inc., General Mills Sales Inc., McCann-Erickson USA Inc., Saatchi & Saatchi North America Inc., Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Universal City Studios LLC, Viacom International Inc., Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC, and Sanrio Company Ltd.
The products involved in the lawsuit are snacks named after characters from TV and movie franchises:
- Scooby-Doo Fruit Flavored Snacks
- Despicable Me Fruit Flavored Snacks
- Star Wars Fruit Flavored Snacks
- Dora The Explorer Fruit Flavored Snacks
- Hello Kitty Fruit Flavored Snacks
- DC Superhero Girls Fruit Flavored Snacks
- Shark Bites Fruit Flavored Snacks
- SpongeBob Fruit Flavored Snacks
- Trolls Fruit Flavored Snacks
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fruit Flavored Snacks
- El Chavo Fruit Flavored Snacks
- Thomas and Friends Fruit Flavored Snacks
Hilsley insists that the “No artificial flavors” label on the packaging is false, and the fruit-flavored snacks have malic acid, a synthetic chemical that can simulate the flavor of actual fruit.
The lawsuit also alleges that once a company markets a product as a particular fruit flavored with a picture or a word that mentions the fruit, the label should mention that the flavor was made with either natural or artificial flavorings.
The class action states that General Mills violates several regulations such as California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law, and False Advertising Law. The case also alleges their claim for breach of express warranty and breach of implied warranty.
The lead plaintiff wanted to get an order to compel the defendants to stop and change the packaging, marketing, distributing, and selling the products with false packaging and start with a proper marketing strategy.
About General Mills
General Mills, Inc. is a multinational company based in the United States that manufactures and markets branded foods sold in retail stores. Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, is the company’s headquarters. The company distributes a number of well-known brands in North America, including Annie’s Homegrown, Gold Medal flour, and Lärabar.
Editor’s Note on General Mills Fruit Flavored Snacks Class Action Settlement:
This piece is written about the Chrystal Hilsley Settlement. If you are considered eligible to be among the class of consumers described in the class action settlement, you may eventually take part in receiving any compensation the court may award.
Case Name.: California General Mills Fruit Flavored Snacks Class Action Lawsuit;
Crystal Hilsley, et al. v. General Mills Inc., et al.
Case No.: 3:18-cv-00395-L-BLM; September 23, 2020
Product/Service: Fruit Flavored Snacks
Allegations: The company include false labeling on fruit-flavored snacks saying they don’t have artificial flavoring.
If you believe that what is alleged in the General Mills fruit snack lawsuits has affected you, please reach out to us.
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