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Class Certified in False Advertising Lawsuit


On May 28, 2024, a federal court in California certified a class action alleging that Barilla America, Inc., the company behind the famous Pasta Barilla, deceptively advertised its products.  The plaintiffs, Matthew Sinatro and Jessica Prost, had alleged that Barilla engaged in false, misleading, and deceptive marketing by labeling certain pasta products as “ITALY’S #1 BRAND OF PASTA®.” The plaintiffs argued that this label misled them and other consumers into believing the pasta was made in Italy and that such labeling influenced their purchasing decisions, attributing higher quality to Italian products.

The court granted the motion for class certification under Rule 23(b)(3), finding that the plaintiffs met the requirements of numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy. The court held that common questions predominated over individual ones, making a class action a superior method for resolving the dispute. The court also noted that the potential recovery for individual class members was small relative to litigation costs, making class proceedings a more efficient and practical approach.  The litigation will now proceed as a class action going forward.

The case is Sinatro v. Barilla America, Inc., Case No. 22-cv-3460, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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