A proposed class action claims the labels on Folgers Classic Decaf Medium Roast Ground Coffee sold by Walmart, Inc. are misleading to consumers with regard to how many servings of coffee could be made from a canister’s contents.
The lawsuit argues that while the Folgers canisters state that the product “Makes Up to 240 Cups,” testing has revealed that the container will not produce “anywhere close” to that amount when the brewing instructions on the back label are followed.
According to the suit, consumers have relied on the Folgers containers’ “misleading and deceptive” labeling and advertising to their detriment.
“Plaintiff was cheated out of a percentage of coffee that he paid to receive and therefore sustained actual damages,” the complaint alleges.
The plaintiff purchased Folgers Classic Decaf Medium Roast Ground Coffee from a Pompano Beach, Florida Walmart in September 2020, the suit says. Per the case, the plaintiff relied on representations that the canister would produce 240 cups of coffee if he used one tablespoon of coffee grounds per six fluid ounces of water, as the back label instructions suggest. A consumer such as the plaintiff, therefore, would “reasonably believe” that the canister contains at least 240 tablespoons of ground coffee, the lawsuit argues.
Testing has revealed, however, that the ground coffee contained in the Folgers canister does not measure out to at least 240 tablespoons of coffee and “will not produce anywhere close” to 240 six-fluid-ounce cups, the case attests.
The lawsuit claims the plaintiff was “deprived of the benefit of the bargain he reasonably anticipated” after viewing the Folgers canister’s labeling and advertising. The case argues that Walmart could avoid deceiving consumers by, for example, not displaying on the front label of the Folgers product any representations about the number of cups of coffee that could be brewed from its contents or, alternatively, accurately representing the number of cups that can be brewed when the directions are followed.
Per the case, Walmart sold the deceptively labeled product for a premium price as compared to similar products that do not claim to be able to make the represented number of cups of coffee. The suit claims the plaintiff and proposed class members would not have been economically injured had Walmart not made the “false, misleading, and deceptive representations.”
Initially filed in Broward County, Florida Circuit Court, the lawsuit was removed to the state’s Southern District Court on February 2, 2021.
The case comes on the heels of several other lawsuits filed against coffee sellers, including Market Basket, Kroger, Maxwell House and Folgers, over their apparent misrepresentations of the number of cups of coffee that can be brewed with containers of their products.
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