BOSTON (Legal Newsline) – A Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts woman alleges a food conglomerate does not disclose on its packaging for chocolate products that child and/or slave labor is purportedly involved in the supply chain.
Danell Tomasella filed a complaint on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated on Feb. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against Nestlé USA Inc. alleging violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff has purchased the defendant's chocolate products, including Toll House refrigerated cookie mix, at various stores since 2014.
"Although Nestlé’s Corporate Business Principles and Supplier Code prohibit both child and slave labor, Nestle is aware that cocoa beans from West Africa are produced using child labor, including the worst forms of child labor as recognized by the United Nations: the compulsory labor of trafficked children and the labor of children involving dangerous tools, transport of heavy loads, and exposure to toxic substances, i.e., hazardous work," the suit states.
"Plaintiff would not have purchased the chocolate products or paid as much for them had Nestlé disclosed the truth about the child and slave labor in the supply chain. Plaintiff Tomasella seeks damages, restitution, and injunctive relief requiring Nestlé to cease its deceptive marketing," the suit states.
The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment against defendant, appoint plaintiff as class representatives and their counsel as class counsel, award damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, interest, and further relief as may be determined to be just. She is represented by Hannah W. Brennan of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Steve W. Berman of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP in Seattle, Washington; and Elaine T. Byszewski of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP in Pasadena, California.
U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts case number 1:18-cv-10269