Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, April 6, 2020

Campbell Soup sued over alleged misleading claims


By John Breslin | Mar 26, 2020

Nelson and Armstrong

BELLEVILLE - Campbell Soup Company is facing a potential class action over claims that it misled consumers by stating some of its products contained no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Huanah Vanlaningham and Danielle Schwartz filed suit March 6 in St. Clair County Circuit Court on behalf of themselves and all other citizens of Illinois who bought the range of products in the five years prior to the filing of the suit.

The suit claims the company engaged in deceptive, false and unfair practices in connection with the Home Style and Slow Kettle soups range.

According to the suit, the labels on the range state that there are "no preservatives added" while on the website there are references to no artificial flavors and no added preservatives.

Another claim made by the company is that the products are "made with patience, not preservatives," according to the suit.

The suit alleges these marketing claims on the tins and website are misleading because the products contain preservatives, including citric acid, other acids, and sodium phosphate. They also allegedly contain artificial flavors, including monosodium glutamate.

The fact that they do contain these preservatives and flavors, contrary to the claims on the tins and website, means that the company is engaging in unfair, false, deceptive, and misleading practices, the plaintiffs allege.

The defendant is accused of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

Venue is proper, according to the suit, because the defendant has more than minimum contact with Illinois and transactions occurred in St. Clair County.

While the plaintiffs claim violations of the act, they have filed alternative counts of breach of warranty and unjust enrichment.

The plaintiffs, who are seeking certification of the class action and judgment, are represented by David Nelson of Nelson & Nelson in Belleville, and Matthew H. Armstrong in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 2020-L-0189.

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