A New York resident has filed a putative class action against The Dannon Co., alleging that because the company adds “filler materials, such as water, corn starch, and Milk Protein Concentrate” to products that it sells as yogurt, the products contain “banned additives” and, as a matter of federal law, are not yogurt, are misbranded and “cannot legally be sold in the United States.” Conroy v. The Dannon Co., Inc., No. 12 CIV 6901 (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y., filed September 11, 2012). A number of allegations in the complaint, including a history of yogurtmaking, are carbon copies of a complaint filed in a California federal court in August 2012 against Cabot Creamery Cooperative, alleging that its Greek-style yogurt cannot be sold in the United States for similar reasons. Filed by the same law firm, that case is discussed elsewhere in this Update.
Seeking to certify a nationwide class and New York subclass of product purchasers, the plaintiff alleges breaches of express warranty, implied warranty of merchantability and implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose; unjust enrichment; violations of New York Deceptive Acts or Practices and False Advertising laws; negligent misrepresentation; and fraud.
The plaintiff asks for an order declaring that the company has violated the statutes, compensatory and punitive damages, interest, restitution, injunctive relief, attorney’s fees, and costs.