MIAMI (Legal Newsline) – A Florida man is suing a tobacco company over claims of misleading consumers with its labels.
Justin Sproule, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, has filed a class action lawsuit on Sept. 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida court against Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. and Reynolds American Inc., citing violations of Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, fraud, negligence, and unjust enrichment over what he believes is false advertising from the defendants.
Sproule alleges that the defendants manufacture, market, and sell Natural American Spirit cigarettes with labels that advertises the products to be natural, additive free, organic, and as an unadulterated tobacco product. These terms, the lawsuit states, suggest that American Spirits are healthier, safer, and present a lower risk of tobacco-related diseases than other tobacco products. However, Sproule claims that the defendants have no reliable scientific evidence to support their labeling and advertising claims. The plaintiff alleges that the Food and Drug Administration has determined that American Spirits are in fact adulterated. Sproule argues that the defendants, using these deceptive terms, were able to successfully price American Spirits higher than their competitors, which is unfair enrichment.
Sproule is demanding a trial by jury and is suing for compensatory damages and/or exemplary damages and/or the recovery of civil penalties and/or an award equal to the amount by which the defendants have been unjustly enriched, an order requiring medical monitoring and smoking cessation programs for all class members, attorney costs and fees, punitive damages, and any other relief deemed necessary by the court. He is being represented by Scott P. Schlesinger, Jonathan R. Gdanski, and Jeffery L. Haberman from the Schlesinger Law Offices P.A. in Fort Lauderdale.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida case number 0:15-cv-62064-JAL