False Ad Class Action Scorches Fireball Maker

Damien Patterson filed a class-action complaint against the Sazerac Company, Inc for false advertising. He argues that Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and Fireball Cinnamon Malt Drink have labels that are confusingly similar. 

Patterson purports in the filing to be fond of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey. He says that he purchased a bottle of the Cinnamon Malt Drink assuming it was the sweetened, favored, whiskey he knows and loves. However, he soberly discovered that he had purchased the malt drink, which has half the amount of alcohol. 

In fact, he argues that his experience is not unique, and that Sazerac intentionally labeled the malt drink to confuse customers.

An image included in the complaint argues for a striking similarity; the plaintiff argues that the two bottles use the same font, coloring, and demon logo. However, the malt drink only bears the word “cinnamon”, while the cinnamon whiskey is labeled “cinnamon whisky” and lists its 33% alcohol content by volume.

As further evidence, Patterson cites the FAQ section of Fireball’s website, which contains an explanation for the difference between the two. He argues that if the product labels were clearly distinct, Sazerac would not need to dedicate precious copy to such an explanation.

With the above evidence in mind, Patterson alleges that Sazerac has violated California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, and common law precedent regarding fraudulent omission, unjust enrichment, breach of express and implied warranty, and fraud. For the California claims, he seeks to represent a subclass of injured California residents, and for the common law claims he seeks to represent a nation-wide class.

The complaint was filed in the Eastern District of California, and Patterson is represented by Bursor & Fisher, P.A.