The judge overseeing the case detailed on this page granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment after the plaintiff failed to meet a deadline to argue against it.
According to court documents, defendants New England Coffee Company and Reily Foods Company argued that the plaintiff could not seek relief on a class-wide basis because the damages would be too individualized. In other words, because the plaintiff is seeking full refunds for the price of the coffee, individualized inquiries would need to be made as to the benefit each consumer received from the product, which would outweigh the common questions of law and fact, the defendants attested.
While U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel gave the plaintiff until September 21, 2021 to file an opposition to the defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment, she did not do so.
“Because Plaintiff has failed to file an opposition to Defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment, I consider the facts presented by Defendants in their motion undisputed,” the judge wrote in an October 21 order.
Accordingly, the plaintiff’s class allegations have been stricken.
The plaintiff in a proposed class action lawsuit against Reily Foods Company and New England Coffee Company claims the latter’s Hazelnut Crème Coffee is falsely advertised, as it allegedly contains “none of its characterizing ingredient.”
Filed in Massachusetts, the complaint comes nine months after the plaintiff reportedly submitted by letter a formal demand that New England Coffee company end its allegedly deceptive advertisement and labeling of its hazelnut creme-flavored coffee. The plaintiff’s July 28, 2017 request also asked for remuneration for proposed class members, the case notes. In August 2017, the plaintiff’s counsel reportedly received a response from Reily Foods in which the company said it complies with all food labeling laws, and that the plaintiff has no claim.
According to the case, nowhere on the product’s packaging is there any indication that the coffee lacks its primary ingredient. Instead, the suit goes on, the product’s back label reveals in very small print that the coffee is “naturally and artificially” flavored. The plaintiff argues that the federal Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act requires the defendants to disclose on the front of the product’s packaging that their Hazelnut Crème coffee does not contain hazelnut.