On Tuesday, Lisa Boss, Linda Gunnett and Peggy Tatum filed a class action lawsuit in the Northern District of Illinois against the Kraft Heinz Company and Kraft Heinz Foods Company, LLC alleging the companies failed to properly disclose the use of artificial flavoring in its MiO water flavoring products.
According to the complaint, the Kraft Heinz Company is a Delaware corporation co-headquartered in Chicago, Ill. and Pittsburgh, Penn. The complaint further states that Kraft Heinz Foods is a subsidiary of the Kraft Heinz Company and a Delaware company headquartered in Chicago. The complaint purports that both defendants manufacture, label, advertise, market, distribute, and sell food products throughout the United States including MiO water flavoring products.
As reported by the complaint, each of the named defendants are residents and citizens of California who purchased the defendants’ water flavoring product MiO multiple times for personal and household consumption.
The complaint alleges that at least 18 of the defendants’ MiO flavored water enhancers contain undisclosed artificial flavors. Specifically, the complaint alleges that dl-malic acid, a synthetic petrochemical, is the primary flavoring agent in MiO, and 16 of the 18 MiO products list malic acid as either the first or second ingredient by weight after water.
The plaintiffs allege that none of the 18 MiO products disclose the use of artificial flavoring on its front or back labels. Instead, the complaint states that the MiO product’s front labels display the name of each product’s characterizing fruit, berry or tea flavor. The plaintiffs argue this labeling and the omission of Federal and state required “Artificial Flavor” or “Artificially Flavored” label disclosures makes consumers believe that the MiO products are made exclusively from and flavored only with natural flavoring.
Due to the defendants’ failure to disclose the artificial flavoring in its MiO products, the plaintiffs allege the defendants are in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, California’s False Advertising Law, Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, Unfair Competition Law, and express and implied warranties. In addition to the above claims the plaintiffs bring claims of negligent misrepresentation and fraud by omission.
The plaintiffs seek class certification, declaratory judgment, actual damages or statutory damages of $100 per class member, disgorgement of any benefits received from the improper and misleading labeling, punitive damages, restitution, attorneys fees and interest. The plaintiffs are represented by The Elliott Law Firm.