March 2015: After a final fairness hearing was held in December 2014, a federal judge granted final approval of the settlement agreement.
October 2014: TINA.org filed a brief as amicus curiae opposing the terms of the proposed settlement. For a summary of TINA.org’s legal efforts in this case, click here. To see TINA.org’s full brief, click here.
August 2014: A settlement in a false advertising class-action lawsuit against Coca-Cola and Energy Brands, Inc. was preliminarily approved. The complaint, which was originally filed in 2010, alleges, among other things, that the companies market Vitaminwater as a healthy beverage containing “vitamins + water” when, in reality, the primary ingredient in the beverage is sugar and nutrients consist of less than 0.5% of its content. According to the settlement terms, the companies agreed to stop using certain phrases, such as “vitamins + water = what’s in your hand” and “vitamins + water = all you need,” and to state the amount of calories per bottle, all of which the companies had already done before the settlement was reached. The settlement does not provide class members with any type of monetary relief, but awards attorneys’ fees in the amount of $1.2 million. This settlement, if given final approval, will also resolve four other class-actions filed against Coca-Cola for its deceptive marketing of Vitaminwater.
- Cook et al v. The Coca-Cola et al, Case No. 10-cv-61621, S. D. FL.;
- Squiabro et al v. The Coca-Cola Co. et al, Case No. 10-cv-118, D. V.I.;
- Bridges et al v. The Coca-Cola Co. et al, Case No. 13-cv-644, W. D. MO.; and
- Khaleel et al v. Coca Cola Co. et al, Case No. 11-cv-471, N. D. IL.
(Volz et al v. The Coca Cola Company and Energy Brands, Inc., Case No. 10-cv-00879, S. D. OH.).
For more information about other class-action lawsuits regarding Vitaminwater and TINA.org’s coverage of the product, click here.
For more information about sugar and TINA.org’s coverage of the issue, click here.
(Latin for “friend of the courts.”) A person or organization that is not a party to a lawsuit but has a significant interest in the case and offers information that may be important to the court’s determination.