General Mills Fruit Snack Labeling Class Action Moved to Federal Court

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Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq.,
Legal Staff Writer

On February 22, 2018, a proposed class action suit brought against General Mills over the labeling of its fruit-flavored snack products was removed to federal court.

In the suit, originally filed in California state court in December 2017, named plaintiff Crystal Hilsley, on behalf of herself and those similarly situated, alleges that General Mills misrepresented the true contents of its popular children’s fruit-flavored snacks. In particular, the plaintiff claims that General Mills labeled the snacks as all-natural and containing no artificial flavoring, when in reality, the products contained malic acid, which is a synthetic flavoring chemical. Consequently, she argues that consumers would not have paid a premium price for the snack products if the company had labeled them accurately.

Warner Brothers, Universal City Studios LLC and Viacom were also named as defendants since the fruit snacks were shaped like the companies’ movie and television characters.

The claims alleged concern violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law, California’s False Advertising Law and breach of warranties. The proposed class members are California consumers who purchased the fruit snacks between January 2012 and present.

The case is: Crystal Hilsley v. General Mills Inc. et al., case number 3:18-cv-00395 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

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