A California resident has filed a putative statewide class action against Ralphs Grocery Co., alleging that it misleads consumers by labeling its decaffeinated coffee products as “without caffeine” when they are actually, according to labeling fine print, “99.7% caffeine free.” Kopalian v. Ralphs Grocery Co., No. BC533846 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cnty., filed January 22, 2014). The plaintiff invokes no state or federal law labeling violations, but instead claims that the labeling and packaging are “likely to confuse and mislead consumers.” He contends that he relied on the “without caffeine” labeling to make his purchase, believing that the product was 100-percent caffeine free, and chose it over other brands for this reason.
Alleging breach of express warranty and violations of the state’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act, the plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, including a corrective advertising campaign, actual and punitive damages, restitution, attorney’s fees, and costs.