Court Rules No Liability for Beetles in Abbott’s Similac Baby Food
By Jack Bouboushian
Courthouse News Service
Baby formula laced with beetles and larvae does not necessarily violate its manufacturer’s promises of wholesomeness and quality, a federal judge ruled, in dismissing without prejudice a class action involving Abbott Laboratories’ Similac.
Lead plaintiff Chalonda Jasper, an Indiana mother, may have been grossed out by the beetle parts, but she may have no legal recourse against Abbott, even though she relied upon Abbot’s ad slogans, which included, “When it comes to the science of nutrition, Similac stands apart.”
Abbott recalled more than 5 million containers of Similac in September 2010, less than a week after Jasper had bought it and began feeding it to her son.
“Abbott announced that it was recalling more than five million containers of formula because the product may have been contaminated with beetles or beetle larvae,” U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall wrote, citing Jasper’s complaint.
Shortly afterward, the FDA “found that infants who ingested the formula experienced gastrointestinal discomfort and temporary refusal to eat,” the judge wrote.
Jasper filed a class action seeking for “extreme mental anguish and pain and suffering.”
In a claim of misrepresentation, Jasper said that Abbott “misrepresented its product to consumers by marketing Similac infant formula as a healthy product while omitting information about the beetle infestation at its Sturgis [Michigan] facility.”
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