A federal court has dismissed a putative class action alleging Monini North America's truffle olive oils do not contain truffles, holding that the plaintiffs’ concession that the oil tasted and smelled like truffles was fatal to their claims. Jessani v. Monini N. Am., No. 17-3257 (S.D.N.Y., entered August 3, 2017). Additional details about the complaint appear in Issue 633 of this Update.
To prevail on a claim of deceptive advertising, a plaintiff must allege that the deceptive behavior was likely to mislead a reasonable customer, the court noted, but Monini's product label calls the product “White Truffle Flavored Olive Oil” and identifies only two ingredients: olive oil and aroma. “Courts routinely conclude that where a product describes itself as substance-flavored despite not containing the actual substance, and the ingredient label truthfully reflects that fact, as a matter of law the product would not confuse a reasonable consumer acting reasonably under the circumstances,” the court held. In addition, the court dismissed the plaintiffs’ warranty claims, finding that the complaint did not allege the product was unfit for use as a flavored oil.