Seeking to represent a nationwide class of consumers, a New York resident has filed a lawsuit in a New Jersey federal court, alleging that Smart Balance, Inc. falsely labels its fat-free milks enhanced with Omega-3 as “Fat Free” when they actually contain 1 gram of fat per serving. Stewart v. Smart Balance, Inc., No. 11-06174 (U.S. Dist. Ct., D.N.J., filed October 19, 2011). Acknowledging that the nutrition facts label indicates that the products contain 1 gram of fat, the plaintiff nonetheless contends that the front-of-package representations are “intentionally confusing and misleading.” She alleges that she paid more for the company’s products than she would have otherwise paid for alternative milk options because she relied on the “Fat Free” labels, which she contends violate federal labeling rules.
Alleging violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, unjust enrichment, breach of warranty, and injunctive relief, the plaintiff seeks class certification; compensatory, treble and punitive damages; disgorgement; attorney’s fees; costs; and an injunction to stop the company from continuing to market, distribute or sell its products with fat content misrepresentations, as well as an order requiring the company to “removing the offending milk cartons from supermarket shelves.”