Plaintiffs Clarisha Benson and Lorenzo Smith purchased seven-ounce boxes of Mint Meltaways and Pixies from Fannie May last year and alleged they contained 33% and 40% of empty space.
They later claimed some of the company’s other products - including Hot Fudge Truffles, Peanut Butter Buckeyes, Sea Salt Caramels (dark and milk), Carmash and Trinidads - also allegedly had substantial amounts of slack-fill, according to the file suit.
Benson and Smith brought the class action lawsuit against Fannie May in May 2017 on behalf consumers who had purchased these products, despite not having bought some of these confections themselves.
The plaintiffs argued: “[Fannie May] has deceived consumers throughout Illinois by misrepresenting the volume of the products… [therefore violating] Illinois statues that are designed to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive, fraudulent and unconscionable trade and business practices and false advertising.”
However, the Illinois court ruled the plaintiffs only provided “bare-bones” factual allegations and failed to prove a violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Judge Ellis also said Benson and Smith failed to adequately allege a risk of future harm, because they were “already aware of Fannie May’s alleged deceptive practices.”
She further ruled that the plaintiffs could not prove the candy packages they had not purchased were “substantially similar to the products they purchased.
“As Fannie May points out… the products are all substantially different in size, ingredients, and in many cases, their packaging,” said Ellis.
Case number: 1:2017cv03519
Benson et al v. Fannie May Confections Brands
Illinois Northern District Court