A California resident has filed consumer fraud claims on behalf of a putative statewide class against a company that makes fruit juices with “No Sugar Added” statements on the product labels and without a statement that the juice is not a “low calorie” or “calorie reduced” product allegedly in violation of federal regulatory requirements. Cuzakis v. Hansen Beverage Co., No. BC513620 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cnty., filed June 27, 2013). According to the complaint, the juices are made from fruit juice concentrate and thus cannot be labeled “No Sugar Added,” and with 120 calories per reference serving greater than 30 grams (“about as much as a conventional soft drink”) must include a disclosure that they are not “low calorie.”
While the plaintiff alleges that he is a diabetic and must purchase products low in sugar, he does not seek damages for personal injury; rather, he claims he would not have purchased the products if he had known that they were misbranded and labeled with claims that the company was not legally permitted to make. Alleging violations of the Unfair Business Practices Act, False Advertising Act and Consumers Legal Remedies Act, as well as negligent misrepresentation and breach of quasi-contract, the plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment; an order requiring the company to change its labeling; corrective advertising; statutory, actual and punitive damages; attorney’s fees; interest; and costs. Also included as a defendant is Monster Beverage Corp., which the plaintiff alleges is Hansen Beverage’s parent company.