Dan Harkins May 13, 2015, 2:49pm


A class action lawsuit targets Nestle's use of trans fat in its products and its allegedly deceptive advertising campaigns that have promoted its creamers as being healthy.

Troy Backus, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, filed a lawsuit filed April 30 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Nestle USA Inc.

According to the complaint, Nestle uses trans fat creamers, which contain partially hydrogenated oil (PHO), in several varieties of the defendant's Coffee-Mate creamer products.

Banned in many places around the world because of its trans fat contents, the lawsuit states the Food and Drug Administration came to a tentative determination in 2014 that PHO is "unfit for use in food." The suit says Nestle falsely markets its creamers as healthy and having no trans fat, when they are very unhealthy, containing dangerous levels of a substance strongly linked to numerous health maladies, like brain damage, various cancers, Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Backus used these creamers regularly during the period encapsulated by this class-action lawsuit, as did "hundreds of thousands" of other members of this class, the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff cites violations of two state business and profession codes, and breach of express and implied warranties.

Backus seeks: unspecified restitution for the class; for the defendant to be relieved of any benefits received from falsely advertising its creamers as healthy; keeping the defendant from using deceptive practices again when marketing trans fat creamers; force the defendant to engage the public with a corrective ad campaign; and make the defendant pay pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs and attorney fees.

The plaintiff is represented by attorneys Gregory S. Weston and Paul K. Joseph of The Weston Firm in San Diego. 

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case number: 3:15-cv-01963-MMC.

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