Refund Held to Moot False Labeling Claims Against General Mills

Refund Held to Moot False Labeling Claims Against General Mills

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane has dismissed a putative class action claiming that General Mills, Inc.’s use of wheat-contaminated oat flour in varieties of Cheerios cereal labeled as “gluten free” violated the Oregon Uniform Trade Practices Act.  A year ago, after a rail line into a General Mills plant became temporarily unavailable, gluten free oats bound for the plant were offloaded from train cars into bulk trucks.  General Mills was unable to verify that the trucks had been cleaned of all wheat flour residue, but used the trucked oats in its “gluten free” cereals.  General Mills subsequently recalled the products and offered a full refund.  Judge McShane found that the refund offer mooted the named plaintiff’s claims because he could not show that he suffered an “ascertainable loss.” [7/28/16]

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