BENTON, Ill. (Legal Newsline) – Attorneys for a snack food company are asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to dismiss the case against one of two consumers who filed a class action lawsuit against the business over allegations of fraud and negligent misrepresentation.
Amplify Snack Brands filed a motion to dismiss Sept. 28 over it claims that one plaintiff fails to allege an unjust enrichment claim and other counts.
Gayle Greenwood of Illinois and Dominique Morrison of Missouri filed a complaint individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated May 3 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Amplify Snack Brands Inc. over the company's labeling of sugar on its chip products.
In her complaint, Greenwood claimed that she purchased chips made by Amplify because she saw the term “evaporated cane juice” in the ingredient list of an old label. The company has since changed the labels to state cane sugar.
This, according to Greenwood, led her to believe that the chips did not contain any sugar and she would not have purchased the product had she known otherwise. She also claims to have paid a premium price for the product.
However, Amplify, which produces Paqui Roasted Jalapeno and Grilled Habanero tortilla chips, stated that its Amplify Snack Brands do not contain any sugars despite having evaporated cane juice, which is considered as sugar.
Amplify maintains in its motion that Greenwood stated in a state court that she was aware that evaporated cane juice is sugar, which means she could not claim she would not have purchased the chips if she knew they contained sugar because she knew the products contained sugar and purchased them anyway.
The plaintiff further maintained that under the doctrine of judicial estoppel, Greenwood is prevented from making conflicting representations to two different courts.
Moreover, Amplify maintains that Greenwood’s admissions prove there was no injury and, as a result, she has failed to make any claims to support her allegations of injury and deception, key to her case.
According to court records, Greenwood also was aware that Paqui had changed its labels long before the threatened legal action. The change occurred when its supplier changed the way it portrayed its ingredients, the motion states.
Citing Camasta v. Jos. A. Bank, Amplify maintains that a plaintiff aware of how a business works isn’t likely to be harmed by the practices going forward.
As a result, Amplify has asked the court to dismiss the case as it regards to Greenwood’s claims and dismiss her as a plaintiff.
Amplify is represented by BraunHagey & Bordon in San Francisco and Buckley & Buckley in St. Louis, Missouri.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois case number 3:17-cv-00464-SMY-RJD