Market Basket Hit with fraudulent espresso can label lawsuit

Market Basket was recently named in a lawsuit over allegations that some of its coffee labels were fraudulent and misleading.

For many Americans, brewing a cup of coffee in the morning is the starting gun for their days. But when was the last time you checked the label on your coffee can? How many servings should it contain? Forty-eight? Seventy-two? Does the can really contain as many servings as it claims? Market Basket recently came under fire in a lawsuit on allegations that two of the company’s coffee cans “contain less than half the rounded tablespoons advertised on their packaging”. The lawsuit, for class action status, was filed in federal court on behalf of David Cohen, a Weymouth resident.

Gavel with law books; Image by wp paarz, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.

According to the lawsuit, Cohen “purchased the 11.5 ounce House Blend coffee cans and 11.5 ounce House Blend Decaf from the Tewksbury-based grocery store on the reasonable assumption that they were 79 and 76 servings, respectively, as indicated by small labels at the bottom of cans. “However, third-party expert testing found the actual servings count in House Blend and House Blend Decaf were 39 and 37, respectively, which means they were 40 and 39 fewer servings than advertised,” the lawsuit said further that customers were “cheated out of 51% of the servings they paid for”.

Cohen claims he would not have bought the coffee if he “knew the truth”. His complaint adds that the labels “were designed to deceive, mislead and defraud customers”. It should also be noted that there are likely tens of thousands of other Market Basket customers who are similarly affected.

How did Market Basket respond to the allegations? Well, so far, the company has defended the allegations, saying the lawsuit, not the coffee, was wrong. The company “admitted to having changed the label”. In a statement, the company said:

“The label referred to in the lawsuit is no longer in our stores. We believe the lawsuit has no value.”

This is not the first time a company has been sued for allegedly misleading labels on coffee cans. In fact, last year brought a lawsuit against a “private manufacturer of coffee labels for Wal-Mart and other large chains” a bill of up to $ 20 million. “Other companies like Maxwell House, Folgers and Kroger have also been involved in similar litigation in recent years.

As part of the lawsuit, Cohen seeks to “reimburse financial damages in accordance with Massachusetts consumer protection laws, although it is recognized that the harm suffered by each class member is likely to be relatively minor due to the low cost of coffee cans.”


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