On Monday, Judge Stanley R. Chesler of the District of New Jersey issued an opinion for Kimca et al. v. Sprout Foods Inc, granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss since the plaintiffs failed to properly allege the damages they faced by using Sprout’s products that supposedly contained high levels of toxic metals.
In the complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that Sprout “negligently, recklessly, and/or knowingly” failed to disclose to consumers the presence of heavy metals and, even further, marketed its products as clean, healthy, and organic. They specified that each of the “Baby Food Products” have been “‘tested and confirmed to contain’ greater than 10 parts per billions (ppb) of arsenic, greater than 5 ppb of cadmium, greater than 5 ppb of lead, ‘and/or’ greater than 5 ppb of mercury.” They explained that lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury are all “neurotoxins,” which alter the nervous system. This was in spite of Sprout labeling their productions as “organic, wholesome and clean.”
Sprout fought back against these claims, arguing that the plaintiffs lacked standing “because they have not demonstrated that they suffered an injury in fact,” which the court agreed with.
The court reasoned that because the plaintiffs have brought this lawsuit forward, “it is common sense that they are now aware of the alleged risks associated with the Baby Food Products and, thus, will not be deceived by Sprout’s marketing in the future.” Therefore, the plaintiffs were unable to allege economic injuries against Sprout. As a result, they could not allege “potential future injuries” as grounds for arguing for injunctive relief. Overall, the Court concluded that “any risk of being misled by Defendant again is merely speculative” and thus the plaintiffs had no grounds to argue for any of their charges.
Because of the plaintiffs’ lack of standing, the court granted Sprout Foods’ motion to dismiss without prejudice, offering the plaintiffs a chance to refile.
Sprout is represented by Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath. The plaintiffs are represented by Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, Shub Law Firm, and Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman.