As consumers become increasingly aware of the potentially harmful side effects of certain chemicals used to extend the shelf life of prepared foods, the demand for packaged foods that are free of preservatives has gone up and continues to go up. Many consumers are prepared to pay a higher price for foods bearing labels such as “organic” and “all natural,” while others simply refuse to buy any foods they cannot be certain are free from artificial preservatives.
The more scrupulous buyers check the ingredients of everything they buy before taking it to the checkout counter, and over the years, people have come up with a few different rules regarding what to look for in the ingredients label. For example, some say you shouldn’t buy anything containing any ingredients you can’t pronounce, while others claim you simply shouldn’t buy anything with more than five ingredients.
Still others just rely on the product’s label. If the company claims their product is free of artificial preservatives, most customers will take that claim at face value and grab the product without bothering to check the ingredients label. Others rely on labels with terms like “all natural,” even though products don’t need to meet any legal qualifications in order to put that label on their products (as opposed to the term “organic,” which does require the product to be certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture).
According to a recent consumer class action lawsuit against Campbell’s, the soup company allegedly marketed two of its tomato soups as being free of preservatives when they actually contained citric acid, succinic acid and/or ascorbic acid, all of which are preservatives. The two soups at the heart of the consumer lawsuit are Campbell’s Home Style Harvest Tomato with Basil, which sells for $2.49 at Target, and their Slow Kettle Style Tomato & Sweet Basil Bisque, which sells for $3.89 at Target.
The lead plaintiffs, Haunah Vanlaningham and Daniele Schwartz, filed the lawsuit in St. Clair County on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated consumers who purchased one or both of those Campbell’s soups because their labels claimed they didn’t have any preservatives. The lawsuit alleges the soup labels represented the products as not containing any preservatives, and that as a result, Campbell’s was able to sell the soups at higher price points than they would have if they had not been marketed as being free of preservatives.
The lawsuit alleges that Campbell’s violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act by selling prepared foods that contained preservatives while labeling them as free of preservatives.
The consumer lawsuit is seeking certification as a class action, for the case to go to trial in front of a jury, and for the lead plaintiffs to be named as representatives of the class and their attorneys as class counsel. When it comes to Campbell’s making reparations, the lawsuit is asking for compensation for the alleged damages, plus interest, as well as the legal costs associated with bringing the consumer class action lawsuit before a jury.
Our Oak Brook, Illinois consumer rights private law firm handles individual and class action gift card, data breach, privacy rights, deceptive advertising, predatory lending, unfair debt collection, lemon law, and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totaling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. The Chicago consumer lawyers at Lubin Austermuehle are proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations to obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices.
Our Gurnee and Waukegan consumer attorneys provide assistance in data breach, privacy violation, fair debt collection, consumer fraud and consumer rights cases including in Illinois and throughout the country. You can click here to see a description of the some of the many individual and class-action consumer cases our Chicago consumer lawyers have handled. A video of our lawsuit which helped ensure more fan friendly security at Wrigley Field can be found here. You can contact one of our Orland Park and Schaumburg consumer protection, gift card and data breach attorneys who can assist in consumer fraud, consumer rip-off, lemon law, unfair debt collection, predatory lending, wage claims, unpaid overtime and other consumer, or consumer class action cases by filling out the contact form at the side of this blog or by clicking here. You can also call our toll-free number at 630-333-0333.