Are You a ‘Reasonable Consumer’?
Courts weigh in on legal term.
August 2015: A federal judge dismissed this lawsuit When a complaint is dismissed with prejudice, it cannot be refiled. finding that a reasonable consumer would not interpret the word “handcrafted” to mean that the product was literally “created by a hand process rather than by a machine.” The judge went on to state that “if Jim Beam uses the term ‘handcrafted’ to appeal to consumers’ loose association of the term with ‘higher quality manufacturing and high-end products,’… then … it’s ‘generalized, vague, and unspecified’ and therefore inactionable as ‘mere puffery.’”
February 2015: A class-action lawsuit was filed against Jim Beam and Beam Suntory Import Co. for allegedly misleadingly labeling bourbon (including Jim Beam Bourbon – Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey) as “handcrafted” when it is actually made using machines. (Welk et al v. Beam Suntory Import Co. and Jim Beam Brands, Co. d.b.a. Jim Beam, Case No. 15-cv-00328, S. D. CA.).
For more information about other class-action lawsuits regarding alcohol and TINA.org’s coverage of the product, click here.