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Judge gives initial thumbs up to $3.4m settlement over Trader Joe's ‘all-natural’ claims

By Elaine WATSON , 11-Feb-2014
Last updated on 11-Feb-2014 at 01:34 GMT2014-02-11T01:34:43Z

Trader Joe's has agreed to settle a 2011 lawsuit over 'all-natural' claims
Trader Joe's has agreed to settle a 2011 lawsuit over 'all-natural' claims

A federal judge has granted preliminary approval to a $3.4m settlement of a class action lawsuit accusing Trader Joe’s of falsely advertising certain products as ‘all natural’.

In a February 6 court order, U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick said the settlement appeared “sufficient, fair, reasonable and adequate” to the class, which comprises all consumers who bought Trader Joe’s products in the US labeled as ‘all natural’ or ‘100% natural’ - but which also contained ascorbic acid, cocoa processed with alkali, sodium acid pyrophosphate, vegetable mono- and diglycerides, or xanthan gum - from October 24, 2007 onwards.

Under the settlement, Trader Joe's has also agreed to stop using the phrases ‘all natural’ or ‘100% natural’ on the products at issue.

Class members with proof of purchase will be entitled to claim for the average retail price for each product purchased, while those without receipts will be entitled to claim remuneration for up to 10 products ranging in price from $2.70 to $3.99 each (a maximum of $39.99).

A final approval hearing is set for July 9, 2014.   

The case - originally filed in 2011 - is Tamar Davis Larsen, et al. v. Trader Joe’s Co (3:11-cv-05188), U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Click here for all the latest on 'natural' claims.

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