Has there been an uptick in lawsuits involving false advertising of inexpensive products? Seems like it, or maybe I’m just paying more attention. The latest one I read about is a class-action lawsuit against the maker of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, alleging that the 99 cent bottles of Fireball Cinnamon do not actually contain any whisky but mislead consumers into believing that they do.
According to the Fireball website: “Fireball Cinnamon products include malt-based and wine-based alcoholic beverages, whereas Fireball Whisky is whisky-based. Unlike Fireball Whisky, Fireball Cinnamon malt or wine based products can be sold in beer, malt beverage and wine stores for our fans who want a wider variety of convenient shopping locations. Fireball Whisky continues to be available in bars, restaurants, and liquor stores across the country.”
However, according to the plaintiff’s complaint filed in Illinois federal court earlier this month, consumers are being mislead by the 99 cent bottles, including by use of the brand name “Fireball” and by the phrase “With Natural Whisky & Other Flavors.” Her complaint alleges claims of (1) Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, (2) Violation of State Consumer Fraud Acts, (3) Breaches of Express Warranty, Implied Warranty of Merchantability/Fitness for a Particular Purpose and Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, (4) Negligent Misrepresentation, (5) Fraud, and (6) Unjust Enrichment. It will be interesting to watch how this one plays out.