NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – A group of consumers has filed a potential class action suit against an ice cream manufacturer over allegations that its vanilla ice cream is not made with real vanilla.
Glenn Liou, Jessica McClain, Kristen Ruiz and others, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a complaint on June 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Nestle Dreyer’s Ice Cream Co. alleging violation of the New York General Business Law, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of mercantability, fraud and unjust enrichment.
The defendant manufactures and distributes ice cream under the Dreyer's and Edy's brand names. The plaintiffs allege that the defendant labels some of its products as containing vanilla ice cream and that this is misleading because "despite the expectation their flavoring is exclusively derived from vanilla beans, the ingredient lists reveal otherwise."
As examples, the suit focuses on the defendant's vanilla, Neapolitan and cookie dough flavors, and two of the three flavors list natural flavor and one lists natural flavors with vanilla extract as ingredients. The plaintiffs allege that natural flavoring is "not a synonym" for vanilla extract or flavor.
The plaintiffs also take issue with the defendant's "fresh milk and cream" and "no artificial colors or flavors" labeling.
"The 'fresh milk and cream' claim is misleading because the products are not fresh, understood by reasonable consumers as 'just prepared,'" the suit states. "The products are subjected to preservation treatments and have a shelf (freezer) life on the order of several months.
"The 'no artificial colors or flavors' is misleading because it gives the consumer the impression that the representations as forms of vanilla ice cream are truthful and that all the flavoring elements are derived from vanilla beans," the suit states.
The plaintiffs are seeking a trial by jury, relief deemed fit, interest, monetary damages, treble and punitive damages, costs and expenses. They are represented by Spencer Sheehan of Sheehan & Associates PC in Great Neck, New York.
The case has been assigned to Judge Denise L. Cote.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York case number 1:19-CV-05762