Lead plaintiff Nancy Lanovaz, who filed the lawsuit, claims she paid a premium price for Twinings' green and black tea and would not have purchased it without the allegedly unlawful labeling that the tea is a "natural source of antioxidants."
Twinings filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, however, US District Judge Ronald M. Whyte has now ruled that the potential class action may move forward stating that that 51 of the 53 tea blends that Lanovaz claims are falsely labeled are made from the same camellia sinensis plant and are therefore the same product.
"Because the claims for 51 of the varieties of tea are based upon the exact same label describing the same product, camellia sinensis, the court finds that Lanovaz has standing to sue on behalf of the purchasers of these teas and thus denies Twinings' motion with respect to these products,"Judge Whyte wrote. "Red tea, on the other hand, is made from a different plant and is thus a significantly different product."
The consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleging false advertising of Twinings teas claims the company violated California' Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law and the Consumers Legal Remedies Act.
The lawsuit is entitled Lanovaz v. Twinings North America Inc., Case No. 12-cv-02646, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Plaintiffs are represented by Ben F. Pierce Gore of Pratt & Associates.