Hoang Tran Nov. 18, 2015, 1:54pm


SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) – General Mills, producer of Cheerios and breakfast cereals, is facing trouble over allegedly misleading its consumers.

Nancy Coe, Tori Castro, and Pamela Mizzi, individually and on behalf of those similarly situated, has filed a class action lawsuit on Nov. 9 in the California Northern District Court against the cereal company, citing violations of the California Business & Profession Code, California Civil Code, and New York General Business Law.

The plaintiffs allege that Cheerios Protein, a General Mills product, was falsely and misleadingly marketed as a high protein and healthy alternative to regular Cheerios. Plaintiffs assert that Cheerios Protein has slightly more protein per serving than Cheerios at 4 grams. Most of that 4 grams, claims the plaintiffs, is attributable to differences in serving sizes.

The plaintiffs argues that rather than protein, the principal ingredient that distinguishes Cheerios Protein from Cheerios is sugar. Cheerios Protein has 17 times as much sugar per serving as Cheerios, the complaint states. However, General Mills allegedly charges a premium price for this product. Plaintiffs assert that they have been deceived by defendant’s misleading and false advertising and have therefor suffered damage.

They are seeking a trial by jury and an order requiring General Mills to pay restitution to plaintiffs and all members of the class; an order requiring General Mills to pay actual damages to plaintiffs and all members of the class; punitive damages; pre-judgment interests; an order compelling General Mills to destroy all misleading and deceptive advertising materials and packaging; attorney and court fees; and any other rewards deemed appropriate by the court.

They are represented by Laurence D. King and Linda M. Fong from Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer, LLP, in San Francisco; Maia Kats and William Thanhauser from Center for Science In the Public Interest in Washington, D.C.; and Michael R. Reese from Reese LLP in New York, New York.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case number 3:15-cv-05112-JCS.

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