The claims process under two settlements reached with the company that makes the hazelnut spread Nutella® is underway, and consumers can recover up to $20, or $4 each for up to five jars purchased during the relevant periods. In re: Ferrero Litig., No. 11-CV-205 H (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. Cal.) (California class, Aug. 1, 2009 – Jan. 23, 2012); In re: Nutella Mktg. & Sales Practices Litig., No. 3:11-cv-01086 (U.S. Dist. Ct., D.N.J.) (Nationwide class, except California, Jan. 1, 2008 – Feb. 3, 2012).
The settlement funds available to both classes total $3.05 million, but if the claims exceed this amount, individual payments “will be reduced proportionately.” Under the settlement agreement, the company, which continues to deny any wrongdoing, will modify its product label and certain marketing statements, create new TV ads, and change the Nutella® Website.
The company also agreed not to object to a California fee award of $900,000 and New Jersey fee award of $3 million. Claims must be submitted no later than July 5, 2012, and requests for exclusion from the classes must be postmarked no later than June 8. If more than 5,000 class members seek exclusion from the New Jersey settlement, the agreement may be terminated. If 500 class members seek exclusion from the California settlement, the agreement may be terminated. Fairness hearings will be held before both the New Jersey and California courts on July 9. Details about the litigation appear in issues 380, 394, 401,406, 408, 415, 418, 420 and 422 of this Update. See N.Y. Daily News and Huffington Post, April 26, 2012.