If You Bought A Near East Product, You May Have a Legal Claim
Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe LLP is investigating whether Near East brand food products, including rice pilaf, couscous and quinoa mixes, violate federal and/or California law prohibiting manufacturers from packaging food in misleadingly large containers.
Both federal and California state law prohibit deceptive packaging. Packaging can be deceptive even if the volume of the product contained therein is stated on the label, if the package as a whole is designed to mislead consumers into overestimating the amount of the contents. Specifically, containers that do not allow consumers to view the contents of the packaging, and which contain “nonfunctional slack fill” are unlawful under both federal and California law. 21 CFR 100.100; Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code Sections 12601-12615.5.
“Slack fill” is the difference between the capacity of a container and the actual volume of the product it contains. In some cases “slack fill” may be lawful. For example, when the contents of a package settle through ordinary handling, the container may be slightly less than full by the time the consumer opens it. However, when the “slack fill” is not due to ordinary subsidence or some other functional purpose, it is unlawful. Consumers who purchase products containing slack fill may be entitled to restitution or damages.
If you purchased a Near East brand product, and believe that the product was sold in a box with “nonfunctional slack fill,” you may have a legal claim. Please fill out the form at right for a free legal consultation.