Kellogg’s Agrees To Settle Class Action Lawsuit With $13 Million
American cereal and food products producer, Kelloggs Sales Co., agrees to pay out $13 million to settle a false advertising lawsuit.
The Class Action Lawsuit
Stephen Hadley, the lead plaintiff, filed the class action lawsuit against Kelloggs in August 2016.
According to the class action lawsuit, the company has allegedly misleadingly marketed its products as “healthy.”
The lead plaintiff claims that Kellogg’s products, like the Rice Bran and Smart cereals, are advertised as “lightly sweetened,” “heart-healthy,” “breakfast brainpower,” and “wholesome fiber.”
He adds that the packaging misleadingly influenced customers into assuming that the products contain low sugar and are healthy.
However, the complainant argues that products were reported to have high amounts of added sugars.
Stephen Hadley contends that the amount of sugar present in Kellogg’s products can cause significant damage to customers’ health, especially those who regularly consume the food products.
He adds that increased sugar intake can lead to the development of various diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. It can also cause liver, cardiovascular and chronic diseases.
The lead plaintiff alleges that the company has deliberately misled health-conscious consumers into buying the product.
Denied Proposed Settlement
U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh has denied approving the initial settlement proposal amounting to $31.5 million in February 2020.
According to the judge, the request was declined because the classification for class members was too broad.
Aside from this, the judge also notes that a significant portion of the settlement amount will be paid out as vouchers that will come back to the company if unclaimed.
Judge Koh said that the denial will allow both parties to review the case and come up with a fairer settlement.
Second Settlement Proposal
In July 2020, a new settlement amounting to $20 million was proposed for approval to resolve Kellogg’s class action lawsuit.
The revised class action lawsuit would require the company to pay out $20 million to compensate eligible class members.
Also, Kellogs will conduct a brand packaging update amounting to $11 million.
Latest Proposed Settlement
In March 2021, Kelloggs agreed to pay a revised settlement amounting to $13 million.
The approved settlement aims to compensate individuals residing in the United States who have purchased any of the following products manufactured by Kelloggs from August 20, 2012, to May 1, 2020:
- Products labeled as “heart-healthy”:
- Original Raisin Bran
- Raisin Bran Crunch
- Products packaged as “lightly sweetened”:
- Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size (flavors: Blueberry, Maple Brown, Original, Strawberry, Sugar)
- Original Big Bites
- Little Bites (flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon)
- Touch of Fruit in the Middle (flavors: Mixed Berry, Raspberry)
- Products marketed as “lightly sweetened” or “heart-healthy”:
- Smart Start Antioxidants cereal
It is estimated that each eligible class member will receive compensation amounting to $16.09.
The settlement also proposed that class members will need to file a claim form to receive the amount.
The details for the settlement terms, class members, and claims process have not yet been finalized.
Judge Koh has not provided preliminary approval of the newly revised settlement.
The preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 20, 2021.
Editor’s Note on Kellogg’s False Advertising Class Action Settlement:
This article is published to inform you of the latest update on Kellogg’s proposed settlement.
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