As I wrote this past summer, a number of lawsuits have been filed in California over the past couple of years by people who say they were deceived by certain representations on cereal boxes. Specifically, three different plaintiffs alleged they were led to believe that "Crunch Berries" and/or "Froot Loops" are made with real fruit even though the "froot" mentioned in the products' names is obviously fictional.
I still think this is like claiming emotional distress because you just learned "The Hobbit" isn't a true story.
When the first two cases were dismissed in May 2009, I thought the Cap'n might have gotten away with his heinous crimes (which according to one plaintiff included lurking on grocery-store shelves and aggressively thrusting his Crunch Berries at unsuspecting consumers) but recently yet another person has surfaced, this time in San Francisco, who is willing to swear under oath that he was outsmarted by a cereal box. Or boxes, actually, because this one sued the makers of Crunch Berries and Froot Loops, apparently having been baffled by both.
Although he is represented by a different attorney, this plaintiff's complaints are nearly identical to those in the earlier cases. For example: "[Plaintiff] was misled by the packaging and marketing, which by design and intent convey the message that the Product contains real, nutritious fruit," he alleges about a product named "Froot Loops." The complaint continues, "[h]ad he known that 'Froot Loops' contained no fruit, he would not have purchased it." This, of course, is pleaded as a class action, and Plaintiff alleges that the manufacturer's practices with regard to Froot Loops "present a threat to members of the general public…." Oh, the humanity.
By my count, these are the sixth and seventh lawsuits in California against the manufacturers of these two fictitiously named cereals. But hey – just because you are 0-5 and your arguments have been openly mocked by judges as well as a large percentage of the nation's bloggers does not mean you shouldn't give it one or two more tries. It does mean that, presumably, PepsiCo and Kellogg's are highly unlikely to settle, and that in two or three months plaintiffs should be 0-7.
Attention, San Diego — these guys have now tried the Northern, Eastern and Central Districts of California, so I would expect cereal suits eight and nine to be filed in your neck of the woods sometime early next year.