No Grounds to Sue Over Coffee Label [PHIL-OSOPHY]
Here we go again with another silly lawsuit.
This one's brewing over Market Basket's mislabeling on their House Blend and House Blend Decaf coffee cans. At the bottom of the can, there's a drawing of a cup of steaming coffee, under which "Makes 79 Cups" is printed. The total weight of the can is 11.5 ounces of drip-style coffee. Even if you failed math, something tells you that there's no way you're going to get 79 cups of coffee from that $2.65 purchase.
But someone in Weymouth believes Market Basket purposely labeled it that way to "deceive, mislead and defraud," and that tens of thousands of other customers have been similarly anguished and victimized.
It's my deepest hope that the federal court perks up on this humdinger, and tosses it into the proverbial percolator with other frivolous lawsuits.
Food labeling lawsuits are a type of product liability claim that typically involves warning defects or intentional fraud, copyright, or trademark violations. There wasn't any false information about warnings associated with the coffee itself or the nutritional content. The label wasn't difficult to read and there wasn't any misinformation about the grade and quality of the product.
When it came to their attention, Market Basket corrected and changed the label. The very successful grocery store chain said it's the lawsuit – not their coffee – that's skimping on grounds. I totally agree.
Gone are the days when the honorable thing to do would have been to simply inform the store management of the lapse. Every year, the U.S. spends $429 billion on civil lawsuits, many of which are gluttonous money grabs. Who do you think always ends up paying for that $429 billion? The time is now for the federal court to wake up and smell the coffee.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.