Kerry Goff Dec. 21, 2015, 10:11am


SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - A federal judge has dismissed a class action lawsuit against Trader Joe's that alleged products were mislabeled or certain ingredients were not disclosed on the label.

In Gitson v. Trader Joe’s Company, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, of the Northern District of California, determined that packaging for plant-based drinks, like “soymilk,” was not misleading. He issued his ruling Dec. 1.

The plaintiffs, who are represented by Pratt & Associates in San Jose, Calif., and Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, alleged "that these products were misbranded and misleadingly labeled in violation of consumer protection laws. Specifically with respect to the ‘soymilk’ products," said Melanie Natasha Howard, an attorney with Michelman & Robinson.

The judge stated that the plaintiffs could not pursue their claims regarding soymilk, because the use of that term "is neither false, nor misleading, nor is it improperly represented as cow’s milk,” Howard said.

“The Court utilized a ‘reasonable consumer’ standard, noting that ‘[t]he reasonable consumer (indeed, even the least sophisticated consumer) does not think soymilk comes from a cow. To the contrary, people drink soymilk in lieu of cows’ milk,'" she added.

Other claims made alleging there were undisclosed additives in Trader Joe's products will continue. Chhabria ruled against the company's motion to dismiss those.

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