Sinatro and Prost claim that they wouldn’t have bought the folder if they had known it wasn’t made in Italy, which is valued not only for making folder but also for having the high-protein durum wheat needed to make a quality product.
On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Donna Ryu ruled there was sufficient cause for the case to proceed. “Their claims are sufficient to constitute economic damages for constitutional standing,” Ryu said.
Barilla is based in Illinois, but started as a bakery and pasta shop in Parma, Italy. The Iowa and New York facilities use ingredients from countries other than Italy, according to court documents.
The California law firm that filed the lawsuit did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s requests for comment.
A Barilla spokesman said Friday the claims were unfounded, pointing to statements on the packaging that said the folder was made in the United States with ingredients from the United States and elsewhere. “We are very proud of the brand’s Italian heritage, the company’s Italian know-how, and the quality of our pasta in the U.S. and around the world,” the statement said.
According to some law professors who study false advertising, many modern consumers feel they are being deceived or manipulated by corporations.
Rebecca Tushnet, a professor at Harvard Law School, said people feel cheated when they pay high prices for specialty products like chocolate imported from Switzerland.
He said consumers continue to file false advertising lawsuits against companies that sell products in grocery stores because it’s one of the last forums in society that isn’t bound by legal forms or contracts where consumers waive their rights to sue. So, Tushnet said, this frustration at being manipulated by companies is being expressed in the local 5th aisle.
Tushnet said he understands some people find these costumes silly because they’re unlikely to buy something 6,000 miles away for $2. “Some of it is a matter of common sense,” he said.
But how do you value common sense when millions of dollars are on the line?
Tushnet said that in the past five or so years, there has been an increase in plaintiffs and defendants in false advertising cases conducting public inquiries that address the issues of the case.
Megan Bannigan, a partner at Debevoise and Plimpton who handles intellectual property cases, said the survey has come a long way and is a useful tool in false advertising cases.
When Bannigan started 15 years ago, he said, they were located inside a shopping center and would try to get 400 people into one room. current origin
He said online surveys are cheaper and more efficient to conduct, but they can still cost between $20,000 and $100,000. But this is only a fraction of the costs in such cases, which can cost millions of dollars.
Bannigan said he could see both sides of Barilla’s suit as he conducts the inquiry because there is a legitimate legal challenge.
“I don’t see this claim as mere exaggeration,” he said.
Georgetown University law professor Gregory Klass said false advertising law dates back to the 19th century.
“There’s a long tradition of people being concerned about where their food comes from and where other products come from, so it’s not surprising to see these kinds of lawsuits,” he said.
Klass cited a famous example of exclusive naming rights associated with a sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France.
As for pasta made in Iowa and New York, he said the real question is how important it is to consumers whether the packaging is deceptive.
Alexandra J. Roberts, a law professor at Northeastern University in Boston, said some consumers are concerned because Florida Natural orange juice now also uses Mexican oranges.
Florida’s citrus industry is heralded for quality and consistency, so he said consumers are fine paying more because the name on the can says it all.
The first item FAQ page for Florida’s Natural explains why he doesn’t use only Florida oranges: “The Florida orange crop can no longer meet our consumer demands, so we only add the best Mexican Valencia orange juice. This allows us to maintain an adequate supply of orange juice for consumers’ growing thirst while maintaining the superior taste they love from Florida’s Natural.”
This time Product FAQ section of the Barilla website does not indicate where the folder was made, the spokesperson noted another section of the site This explains why not all pastas are made in Italy.
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