California Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Greek Yogurt Manufacturer for Food Recall
On Monday, September 9th, Chobani Yogurt was hit with a class action lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles, California federal court. The suit accuses the manufacturer of making and distributing mold-tainted yogurt, which caused some customers to fall ill.
As of September 17th, the FDA has received 223 complaints of illness related to Chobani’s yogurt and the subsequent recall, despite the manufacturer issuing a statement that the mold is a common variety that should not cause illness or harm to most consumers. Consumers report stomach cramping, nausea, and headaches. The FDA says the investigation is still open and it is possible these symptoms are not associated with consuming Chobani’s mold-tainted yogurt.
Plaintiff Harold Green alleges in his class action suit that he purchased 16 cups of the later-recalled Chobani yogurt, and he and his family members consumed some of them before the product was officially recalled on September 5th. He returned 6 cups to the store. The plaintiff alleges negligence on the part of Chobani, and breach of the implied warranty of merchantability for food.
Green also alleges in the class action filing that the company has yet to identify the strain of mold that contaminated the company’s Greek yogurt products.
“All that has been provided by Chobani regarding the specific type of mold is a general statement from Chobani’s founder and company CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, who stated that, ‘While this type of mold is common in the dairy environment, particularly when using only natural ingredients that are absent of artificial preservatives, it’s still unacceptable to me and all of our yogurt makers,’”Green said.
In a blog post on the company’s website, however, Chobani reported that the mold strain was mucor circinelloides, which can cause bloating and spoilage in dairy products like yogurt, but does not often cause illness when consumed by people.
“This mold should not pose a health risk to most consumers. Very rarely, it can act as an opportunistic pathogen, but not through food and usually only for people with compromised immune systems through inhalation. The organism is regularly used for the production of natural flavor compounds that are widely used in the food industry,” the company said in the blog post.
Green, however, cited the US Department of Agriculture as saying that some molds cause allergic reactions, which could account for the number of people reporting illness due to yogurt consumption. Some molds, in the right conditions, can produce mycotoxins, according to the class action suit, which can make people sick.
“As a result of Chobani manufacturing and distributing moldy yogurt without taking the proper precautions, defendant placed in the stream of commerce product that is unusable, unsafe and has caused purchasers and consumers of yogurt to suffer or potentially suffer illness, as well as the loss of monies,” the complaint said.
What Types Of Case is Appropriate to Pursue as a Class Action?
Class actions and consumer protection cases can stem from an almost unlimited variety of misconduct or defective products.
Class Action cases we have handled include:
- a case against the managed care industry on behalf of physicians for systematically undercutting physician claims for payment for seeing patients;
- race-based life insurance cases against life insurance companies for charging African Americans higher rates for industrial life insurance;
- consumer cases included suing finance companies for adding credit life insurance on to consumer loans;
- a predatory lending case against the title loan industry;
- a predatory lending case against the mortgage industry for systematically steering clients into subprime lending
The Strom Law Firm Advocates for Consumer Protection Through Class Action Lawsuits
Founded in 1996 by former United States Attorney and assistant solicitor, Pete Strom, the Strom Law Firm, LLC aggressively pursues class action cases. The class action lawyers at the Strom Law Firm enjoy a distinct statewide and national reputation for excellence in the area of consumer protection litigation and class action lawsuits. Contact the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm today for a free, confidential consultation to discuss the facts of your potential class action lawsuit. 803.252.4800