CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) – A Illinois federal judge has granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss a national and multi-state class action lawsuit brought against Len & Larry’s Inc. that alleged false and deceptive marketing of their The Complete Cookie protein and health food products, but has affirmed the plaintiffs can sue in their respective states.
The decision was made Oct. 12.
Earlier this year, plaintiffs Lori Cowen of Michigan, Rochelle Ibarrola of Illinois, and Ava Adames of Pennsylvania filed an amended class action lawsuit with the U.S. District Court of Northern District of Illinois, claiming nutritional information on the labels of the cookies is misleading.
In response, Len & Larry’s moved to dismiss the lawsuit claiming the plaintiffs lacked standing for any variety of the Complete Cookie that they did not purchase. They also argued that the plaintiffs did not suffer an injury and cannot sue under their respective consumer protection laws and therefore cannot maintain a national or multi-state class. In addition, the defense argued state consumer laws have major differences and conflicting requirements.
U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettlemen agreed with the defense’s arguments, dismissing the count of violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act stating that "the states where each of the plaintiffs reside (whether they be named plaintiffs or class members) govern the claims alleged in the complaint.”
The remaining seven claims were upheld but "with respect only to the Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania classes."
According to the amended complaint, the plaintiffs allege the labels overstate the Complete Cookies’ protein content and understate the content of other nutrients, specifically calories, carbohydrates, fats and sugars. In addition, they claim the labels miscalculate the percent daily value of protein in the Complete Cookie.
The claim is based on independent testing of the products by plaintiffs’ lawyers.
The women allege multiple state consumer fraud violations, product liability, unjust enrichment and breach of implied warranty and filed on behalf of five classes that include a national class of all people who purchased the Complete Cookie and a consumer fraud multi-state class of all people in California, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and New York. In addition, they filed on behalf of three subclasses of people who purchased the Complete Cookie in Illinois, in Michigan and in Pennsylvania.