Summary of Action

Since 2009, several class-action lawsuits have been filed against Coca-Cola and its subsidiary Glacéau, all alleging that the companies falsely advertise Vitaminwater as a healthy alternative to soda. In fact, Vitaminwater is marketed as a “nutrient enhanced water beverage” that is good for your immune system and eyes, among other things, when, in reality, a 20-ounce bottle has over 30 grams of sugar — more sugar than many standard-sized candy bars — and actual nutrients make up less than 0.5% of the content.

In September 2015, the parties to five of the class actions (three pending in California, one in New York, and one in New Jersey) reached a settlement agreement that consists solely of temporary injunctive relief. Under the terms of the agreement, Coca-Cola will add the words “with sweeteners” to the front label for just 12 months and then they may disappear forever.  And the company gets to continue marketing the sugary drink in a deceptive manner while class members are forever barred from suing the company again over its marketing of Vitaminwater.

Because the agreement is unfair to consumers, TINA.org filed a brief in January 2016 as amicus curiae opposing the proposed settlement.  However, on March 21, 2016, the Court approved the settlement over TINA.org’s and others’ objections.

For more information about TINA.org’s position or to read the full brief, use the menu.  And for information about TINA.org’s involvement in a related Vitaminwater case in Ohio, click here.

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