The Squeals of Justice
SUBJECT OF IRE Jell-O.
CASE IN BRIEF Boxes of the powdered pudding declared it a "good source" of calcium, but that nutrient really comes from the milk that consumers must add to the mix. Boston firm D’Angelo & Hashem advertised in the Herald earlier this year for potential plaintiffs who "were seeking dietary calcium [and] may have been misled."
OUTCOME As of last month, the firm had found no takers.
SUBJECT OF IRE Listerine.
CASE IN BRIEF The mouthwash was promoted as being "as effective as floss"—and in 2005, Bay State residents Sherry Kwaak and Jerry Natale said they suffered for it by changing their dental hygiene accordingly. They sued because, as it turns out, actual flossing is important.
OUTCOME A state appeals court revoked the case’s class-action certification in February.
SUBJECT OF IRE Coke and Pepsi.
CASE IN BRIEF Dunstable’s Lauren Chenelle sued in 2005 after discovering that the bottled version of her beloved diet sugar-waters varied slightly from the fountain version in the sweeteners each uses. If this were made explicit, she argued, drinkers would revolt.
OUTCOME Coke reportedly offered a $500 settlement—that’s 347 Big Gulps!—but Chenelle pressed on, and a court eventually dismissed the case.
SUBJECT OF IRE Gillette.
CASE IN BRIEF In 2004 the Boston-based company advertised that its new M3Power razor lifted hairs away from the skin. Twenty-nine people, including eight from Massachusetts, filed a class-action suit because their whiskers didn’t literally rise at the razor’s approach.
OUTCOME The U.S. District Court in Boston is reviewing a tentative settlement. If it is approved, everyone who bought an M3Power could receive up to $15 back.