Consumers Seek Preliminary Approval After Reaching $15M Settlement in Sugary Cereals Suit

A class action challenging labels affixed to some of Post Foods, LLC’s cereal products is moving closer to resolution. The Northern District of California lawsuit, filed nearly five years ago, claims that various Post cereal products’ health and wellness claims are misleading in view of the foods’ high added sugar content. According to Monday’s motion for preliminary settlement approval, the agreement will provide both monetary and injunctive to class members.

The filing notes that the suit was one of several companion cases filed by the same counsel against the “big three” cereal manufacturers, Post, The Kellogg Company, and General Mills, Inc. In the instant case against Post, trial was scheduled for April 2021.

According to the motion, serious settlement discussions began on Dec. 1, 2020 with the aid of a magistrate judge. The filing states that in the ensuing weeks, the parties agreed to all of the material terms of the agreement.

The motion explains that consumers must submit claim forms to receive money back for products they allegedly overpaid for, with damages tallying “typically less than a dollar per unit.” Class members will draw from the $15 million non-reversionary fund subject to certain caps and caveats based on the purchases they report having made between August 2012 and November 2020.

The injunctive relief measures require Post to remove, if it has not already, labels like “Less Processed,” “No High Fructose Corn Syrup,” “Natural,” “Healthy,” “Smart,” “Nutritious,” and “Wholesome,” among others. According to the filing, the settlement represents hard won and “meaningful relief” for aggrieved consumers.

The motion and proposed order set forth a series of possible dates for claims administration events, opt-out deadlines, and hearings. The plaintiffs ask that the court schedule the final settlement approval hearing for June 23.

The class is represented by The Law Office of Jack Fitzgerald, PC and Jackson & Foster, LLC. Post is represented by Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.