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Artificial victory in class action against candymaker

Posted On: Jul. 2, 2020 12:53 PM CST

SweeTarts

Lawyers representing a class action against the makers of SweeTarts candy over ingredient claims got a sweet deal.

The plaintiffs? (Cue crickets.)

Such is as the heart of a decision issued Tuesday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in which plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Ferrara Candy Co. over the company’s claim that its product contains “no artificial flavors” when in fact it contained “dl-malic” acid, according to court documents.

In the recent proceeding, the one plaintiff in the class objected to final approval of the settlement — $272,000 — arguing that the money went to legal fees and that “the purported injunctive relief had no settlement value” to plaintiffs, adding that “valueless injunctive relief” could not justify “class counsel’s disproportionate fee.”

As part of the settlement, the plaintiffs would now be able to “make a learned judgment” about purchasing SweeTARTS products in the future, according to documents.

The court, meanwhile, determined that the settlement, including the attorney’s fees award, was “fair, reasonable, and adequate,” affirming a district court ruling that noted “weaknesses” in the case.