November 2018: This action was dismissed because the parties reached a settlement agreement, the terms of which have not been disclosed.
January 2018: This case was reopened after the appeals in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals were resolved. (The Jones and Kosta appeals were voluntarily dismissed and the Brazil case was remanded for further proceedings.)
April 2016: A federal judge stayed this action pending the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals resolution in three similar cases (Brazil v. Dole Food Company, Inc., Jones v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., Kosta v. Del Monte Foods, Inc.).
September 2015: A federal judge dismissed some of the claims in the April 2014 complaint, including the evaporated cane juice claims, finding that the problems with them (including that plaintiffs did not adequately plead that their reliance on the marketing was reasonable) were not fixed in the amended complaint. The claims were dismissed without leave to amend, meaning that the claims cannot be refiled. The allegation that Whole Foods Market misleadingly labels products as “all natural” when they actually contain unnatural ingredients will move forward, however.
April 2014: After a federal judge dismissed plaintiffs’ claims regarding evaporated cane juice and unjust enrichment, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint against Whole Foods Market for allegedly misbranding products. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the company misleadingly labels products – including 365 Everyday Value Tomato Ketchup, 365 Everyday Value Organic Chicken Broth, and 365 Everyday Value Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal – as containing “evaporated cane juice” when they actually contain sugar. In addition, plaintiffs claim that the company misleadingly labels products – including 365 Everyday Value Cola and Natural Italian Soda in green apple flavor – as “all natural” when they actually contain artificial ingredients, flavorings, coloring, and chemical preservatives. (Pratt et al v. Whole Foods Market California, Inc.; Mrs Gooch’s Natural Foods Market, Inc.; WFM-WO, Inc.; and WFM Private Label, L.P., Case No. 12-cv-05652, N. D. CA.).
For more information about other class-action lawsuits filed against Whole Foods Market and TINA.org’s coverage of the company, click here.