BURLINGTON, Vt. (Legal Newsline) – A Vermont man has filed a lawsuit against Ben & Jerry's, claiming it misleads consumers by claiming its ice cream products are made with milk from "happy cows" on Vermont dairies when a large portion of the ice cream is sourced from milk produced at factory-style dairy operations.
James Ehlers filed a complaint Oct. 29 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont against Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc. and Conopco Inc., doing business as Unilever United States, alleging violation of the Vermont Consumer Protection Act, breach of expressed warranty and unjust enrichment.
According to the suit, Unilever, which acquired Ben & Jerry's in 2000, has been deceiving consumers by representing the products "as being made with milk and cream sourced exclusively from 'happy cows' on Vermont dairies that participate in a special, humane 'Caring Dairy' program" when allegedly, that only pertains to a small percentage of the Ben & Jerry Products.
"(T)he remaining milk and cream originates from factory-style, mass-production dairy operations, exactly what consumers who choose Ben & Jerry's Products would like to avoid," the plaintiff alleges in the suit.
Ehlers seeks restitution, a trial by jury, interest and all other just relief.
The plaintiff is represented by Joshua Simonds of The Burlington Law Practice PLLC in Burlington, Vermont, and Kim Richman of the Richman Law Group in New York.
U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont case number 2:19-CV-194