Class Action On Tomato Product Labeling Moves Forward.

This case involves claims filed under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and other state law causes of action with respect to allegations that the defendant used deceptive and misleading labels on Hunt’s canned tomato products.  The labels claim that the products are “100% Natural” and “free of artificial ingredients and preservatives.”  The class claims that the defendant mislabeled the products so as to charge a premium price, but that the products contain artificial ingredients including calcium chloride.  The defendant moved to dismiss the action on the grounds that the claim was preempted by the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, failure to allege sufficient supporting facts and lack of standing.  The court, in part, granted the defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings which dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims for breach of implied warranty of merchantability and violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and breach of implied warranty of merchantability.  Other tort-based claims were preserved.  Gabriele v. Conagra Foods, Inc., No. 5:14-CV-05183, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82585 (W.D. Ark. Jun. 25, 2015).    

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