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Consumer sues over alleged false 'all natural' label

By Molly English-Bowers | Apr 4, 2016

BELLEVILLE – A consumer has filed a class-action lawsuit over what she alleges are false and deceptive claims by a manufacturer of "all natural" beverages.

Judy Kremmel, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated in Illinois, filed the suit March 22 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Pacific Foods of Oregon Inc.

According to the complaint, Kremmel alleges the defendant's All Natural Hazelnut Non-Dairy Beverage and All Natural Hemp Non-Dairy Beverage are labeled as being natural. However, she claims the products contain synthetic ingredients.

Because the products contain the synthetic ingredients, the representation that they are all natural is unfair, false, deceptive and misleading, according to the complaint.

The plaintiff, a resident of St. Clair County, has purchased the beverages in question. The suit alleges that had she known the product was not all natural, she would not have purchased it. Therefore, she alleges violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

The defendant derived an unjust enrichment from charging a premium for the all natural labeling, the suit alleges.

The plaintiff, individually and on behalf of all similarly situated persons, seeks certification of this case as a class action, compensatory damages paid to herself and the class or restitution, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees and court costs, and other relief the court deems proper.

She is represented by Matthew H. Armstrong of the Armstrong Law Firm LLC in St. Louis, David C. Nelson of Nelson & Nelson, Attorneys at Law PC in Belleville, and Stuart L. Cochran of Cochran Law PLLC in Dallas.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 16-L-156

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