This past week, the following consumer protection actions made headlines:
Food Marketing: Consumers Respond to Motion to Dismiss their Claims Against Walmart’s Missing Pork
On March 9, 2016, plaintiffs in a suit against Walmart Stores, Inc. responded to the company’s motion to dismiss, saying that their complaint sufficiently put the retailer on notice of allegations that Walmart’s Great Value Pork & Beans in Tomato Sauce lacked an important ingredient: pork. The plaintiffs argue that the USDA requires pork and beans products to contain at least 12 percent pork in order to advertise pork on its labels, and that plaintiffs’ testing did not show any traces of pork in the product. Walmart contends in its motion to dismiss that its labels plainly state that the product contains less than 2 percent pork, and that plaintiffs’ claims are preempted by food labeling laws.
Data Protection: Home Depot Reaches Settlement Over 2014 Data Breach
Home Depot reached a deal on March 8, 2016, to resolve a putative class of customers’ claims over its 2014 data breach, agreeing to pay $13 million and boost its data security measures. If approved, the agreement would resolve consumers’ claims against the company arising from a breach that exposed millions of customers’ credit card numbers and other personal information. The company agreed to pay an additional $6.5 million to finance a year and a half of identity protection services for class members who had their payment card data exposed. This “cash-plus” structure sets up a settlement fund and requires the retailer to devote more resources to safeguarding customer data going forward.