A Cohasset resident and a New Yorker are seeking millions of dollars from Ocean Spray because its products advertise themselves as being free of "artificial flavors and colors" when they contain malic and fumaric acid made in petrochemical plants.
In a lawsuit filed in US District Court in Boston, lawyers for Michael Froio of Cohasset and Mikhail Surman of New York are seeking to become lead plaintiffs for Ocean Spray consumers across the country they say were similarly deceived.
Froio says he spent time between 2014 and 2017 buying unspecified numbers of containers of Ocean Spray 100% Apple Juice, Ocean Spray Cran Pomegranate, Ocean Spray Cherry, Ocean Spray Cran Grape, and Ocean Spray Cran Apple between 2014-2017 from "Target, Stop & Shop, Shaw’s Supermarkets, Tedeschi Food Shops, and other retail stores in and around Cohasset, Massachusetts and other neighboring cities and towns" and that he did by relying on product labels vouchsafeing the drinks as free of anything artificial:
The language "No High Fructose Corn Syrup, Artificial Colors or Flavors" is placed in a box-like feature with a contrasting color behind the lettering to ensure it stands out to the consumer. Plaintiffs also saw the pictures of fruits, water, and fields on the front packaging, which - in the context of the labeling "No High Fructose Corn Syrup, Artificial Colors or Flavors" - reinforced the impression that the Products did not contain artificial or synthetic colors or flavors. Plaintiffs purchased the Products at a substantial price premium and would not have bought the Product had they known that the labeling they each relied on was false, misleading, deceptive, and unfair.
The pair add they would return to Ocean Spray products in a Cohasset or New York minute "if Defendant changed the composition of the Products so that they conformed to their labeling and marketing," but that until that happens, they and other Ocean Spray consumers and their attorneys deserve compensation - at a minimum $5 million worth.