False Advertising

Beliv LLC Faces Class Action Over Misleading Fruit Nectar Labels

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Beliv LLC Faces Class Action Over Misleading Fruit Nectar Labels

In the bustling grocery aisles of Florida, a shopper named Irone Merrick picked up a container of Petit Nectar's 'strawberry banana' fruit nectar beverage, manufactured by Beliv LLC. The labeling contained vibrant images of strawberries and bananas. Now, Merrick is bringing a class-action lawsuit against Beliv LLC, alleging that the label was misleading. Merrick's lawsuit was filed on September 11, 2023, in the Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County, Florida.

The Petit Nectar product, Merrick alleges, is not what it seems. Upon closer inspection, the primary fruit ingredient listed was not strawberry or banana but concentrated apple pulp. The lawsuit claims, "The labeling fails to accurately disclose the common or usual name of the product and the presence of added artificial flavoring."

This discrepancy between the product's front label and its ingredient list forms the basis of Merrick's allegations. The lawsuit alleges that Beliv LLC's labeling practices violate the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA), a state law designed to protect consumers from deceptive, unfair, and unconscionable business practices.

The FDUTPA requires that the labeling and advertising of food products accurately represent the product's contents. It also prohibits practices likely to mislead consumers. In this case, Merrick alleges that the prominent display of strawberries and bananas on the label violates the FDUTPA because neither of these fruits are the primary ingredients of Beliv's product.

But the FDUTPA isn't the only law at play here. Merrick's lawsuit also alleges false and misleading advertising, breach of express warranty, and fraud. The false advertising claim stems from the same labeling issue. On the other hand, the breach of express warranty claim hinges on the idea that by labeling the product as 'strawberry banana,' Beliv LLC made a promise about the product's contents—a promise that, according to the lawsuit, was not kept.

The fraud claim is perhaps the most serious of the four. It alleges Beliv LLC intentionally misled consumers about the product's contents for financial gain. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Beliv LLC could charge consumers a premium price for its product by suggesting its product contained bananas and strawberries. This is a serious allegation, as it suggests not just negligence or error on the part of Beliv LLC but deliberate deception.

Merrick, representing all persons in Florida who purchased the Petit Nectar Strawberry Banana Nectar, seeks monetary damages for the economic injury and loss suffered due to the alleged misleading labeling of the product. While the exact amount of damages is not specified, it's clear that the stakes are high for both Merrick and Beliv LLC.

This case serves as a reminder of the importance of accurate food labeling practices and the existence of legal protections for consumers. It also underscores the potential consequences for companies that fail to adhere to these standards. As the case progresses, it will be interesting to see how the court interprets the FDUTPA and other relevant laws and whether Beliv LLC's labeling practices are deemed deceptive or simply careless.

Case Facts

  • Status:
    Lawsuit Filed
  • Case Number:
    50-2023-CA-013603-XXXA-MB
  • Filing Date:
    September 11, 2023
  • Jurisdiction:
    Fifteenth Judicial District
  • State:
    Florida
  • Court:
    Palm Beach County Circuit Court
  • Plaintiff:
    Irone Merrick
  • Defendant:
    Beliv LLC
  • Plaintiff Firm:
    The Wright Law Office, P.A.
  • Defendant Firm:
  • Claims Administrator:
Contributors
Kevin Salzman, Esq.
Kevin Salzman, Esq.
Reporter and Licensed Attorney
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