Class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart alleges retailer wrongfully marketed juice as ‘100% cranberry pomegranate’

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by Jay Pate

Pomegranate is rich in antioxidants and has gathered a reputation as something of a “super-fruit,” helpful in maintaining health and preventing disease. As a result, Pomegranate juice has become a popular drink among health-conscious consumers and demand for pomegranate juice has increased rapidly.

The growing market for pomegranate juice has clearly prompted major brands to get involved. However, some players are crying foul. We recently reported the Supreme Court’s decision in POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., No. 12-761 (U.S. June 12, 2014).
In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that POM Wonderful could proceed with its false marketing claims against its competitor Coca-Cola. POM alleges that Coca–Cola improperly markets a juice by giving the words “pomegranate blueberry” far more prominence than other words on the label that show the juice to be a blend of five juices. The Coca–Cola product apparently contains only 0.3% pomegranate juice and 0.2% blueberry juice.

Wal-Mart’s Great Value product line is the biggest grocery brand in the country. Wal-Mart sells a juice called “Great Value 100% Cranberry Pomegranate Juice.” Two Florida consumers have recently filed a class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart over the “100% Cranberry Pomegranate Juice.”

The proposed class action alleges that Wal-Mart misleads consumers by marketing the juice as being wholly composed of cranberry and pomegranate when it is actually made up of five fruit juices and contains very little pomegranate. The consumers allege that the juice is made mostly from a blend of apple juice and grape juice. The suit alleges that Wal-Mart “knowingly and purposefully failed to disclose to its consumers that the primary ingredients in GV Pomegranate Juice are actually composed of cheap apple and grape juice.” The plaintiffs allege Wal-Mart was selling the pomegranate cranberry labeled juice for nearly one dollar more than its Great Value brand apple juice, even though the products are “virtually identical.”

“As a consequence of [Wal-Mart’s] unfair and deceptive practices, plaintiffs and members of the class have purchased [Great Value] pomegranate juice under the false impressions that by drinking [Wal-Mart’s] product they would be enjoying the healthful and nutritional benefits associated with a product they believe at least primarily contains pomegranate juice,” the complaint alleges.

On the juice’s label, the words “cranberry pomegranate” are featured in all capital letters on two separate lines on the label. The phrase “flavored juice blend” is in much smaller type underneath, and below that phrase, in even smaller type, are the words “from concentrate with added ingredients.” The suit asks the court to certify a nationwide class of consumers who purchased the cranberry pomegranate juice, and asserts violations of consumer protection laws, in addition to breach of express warranty and unjust enrichment.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson fighting for consumer rights

The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have represented numerous plaintiffs in consumer fraud and consumer class action lawsuits. For example, we have represented individuals who allege they were misled by claims made by Samsung regarding the memory capacity of its Galaxy S4 phone and dozens of consumers who claim they were defrauded into investing in life settlements.

Our law firm has represented clients across the country in class action lawsuits against multimillion dollar companies, making sure that when consumers are hurt by corporate wrongdoing, the companies that do so are held accountable for their actions. Heygood, Orr & Pearson is AV-rated, the highest rating available from Martindale-Hubble, the top law firm rating service. Our partners Michael Heygood, Jim Orr, and Eric Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and have all been voted by their peers as “Super Lawyers” in the state of Texas for several consecutive years.*

If you have been a victim of false or misleading advertising, contact the law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free consultation so we can help you determine the best way to protect your legal rights and interests. You can reach us by calling our toll-free hotline at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form located on this page.

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* Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2014.