A proposed class action lawsuit claims Stew Leonard’s Inc. has deceptively mislabeled its red snapper and sockeye salmon products. Citing a report from the New York Attorney General’s office on the pervasivemislabeling of fish productsin the state’s supermarkets, the complaint alleges Stew Leonard’s so-called red snapper and sockeye salmon products are, in truth, fish of an inferior grade and quality. According to the suit, Stew Leonard’s “sockeye salmon” is actually Coho salmon, and its red snapper is a different type of snapper fish altogether.
After buying seafood at 155 locations across 29 supermarket brands in the state, the Office of the Attorney General found that five supermarket brands were responsible for the lion’s share of the mislabeling, the lawsuit says. Stew Leonard’s was one of the five, according to the case, with the report revealing that 53.85 percent of the company’s fish products sampled by the Office of the Attorney General were mislabeled. From the case:
“In particular, Defendant sold snapper fish as the more desirable and expensive red snapper and Coho salmon as the more desirable and expensive sockeye salmon.
In fact, Defendant’s President and CEO admitted that Defendant had been importing snapper fish and labeling it as ‘red snapper’ for the past two years.”
The lawsuit alleges Stew Leonard’s “routinely took advantage” of consumers’ preference for certain species of fish by passing off “low-demand, less healthy, and less environmentally friendly” fish as a top-shelf product.