BLUE SKY: Class Action Settlement Gets Preliminary Approval

Food and Beverage Labeling Geographic Origin

Class Action Reporter
Apr 20, 2012

Gutride Safier LLP on March 12 disclosed that a federal court in San Francisco has preliminarily approved a class action settlement that provides 50% cash refunds on purchases of Blue Sky brand beverages.

The settlement applies to purchasers in the United States of Blue Sky brand beverages between May 16, 2002 and June 30, 2006 (the "Class"). It excludes purchases by retailers, distributors, resellers, and the judge handling the case.

Class members can submit a claim for refund of fifty percent of the price they paid. Refunds are limited to $100 per household (if Proof of Purchase is submitted) or $6 per household (if no Proof of Purchase is submitted). Proof of Purchase means an itemized retail receipt that shows a purchase of a Blue Sky beverage, and the date, place and amount of purchase.

To make a claim, class members must download the Claim Form from the Settlement Web site at http://www.BlueSkySodaClassAction.com fill it out, sign it in ink and mail it (with Proof of Purchase, if any) to the address shown on the form. Claim Forms are due by June 11, 2012.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corporation (formerly known as Hansen Natural Corporation), Monster Energy Company (formerly known as Hansen Beverage Company) and Blue Sky Natural Beverage Co. (collectively, "Hansen").

The lawsuit claims that Hansen falsely and deceptively marketed the Blue Sky brand beverages as originating from Santa Fe, New Mexico, or being canned under the authority of the Blue Sky beverage company in that city. It argues that in fact, the beverages were canned under the authority of Hansen Beverage Company in Corona, California.

Hansen denies the claims and denies that it has violated any law or regulation. Hansen further contends that any representations about Santa Fe, New Mexico, were immaterial to purchasers' decisions and had no effect on pricing or sales. Hansen contends, therefore, that no purchaser is entitled to relief.

The settlement releases all class members' claims against Hansen regarding allegations of false, deceptive or improper labeling and marketing of the Blue Sky brand beverages during the period May 16, 2002 to June 30, 2006, with respect to the place of origin and name and location of the company exercising canning authority over the beverages.

Class members who do not want their claims to be released can exclude themselves by following the instructions on the Settlement Web site. Those who exclude themselves cannot file a claim or object to the settlement.

Class members also have the right to object to the settlement by filing papers in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, California (Chavez v Blue Sky Natural Beverage Co., et al., N.D. Cal. 06-cv-06609-JSW) and serving those papers on the attorneys for Plaintiff and Defendants. Those who object may ask to appear at the hearing or hire their own attorney to appear.

Request for exclusion and objections are due by April 20, 2012, and must comply with the instructions on the Settlement Web site.

The Court will hold a hearing on May 11, 2012 to consider whether to approve the settlement. If the settlement is approved, the attorneys for the class will ask the Court to award them up to $900,000.00 in fees and expenses. This amount includes a proposed award of $10,000.00 as an incentive to the customer who started the lawsuit. These amounts would be paid by Hansen separately from and in addition to the amounts paid for class members' claims.

For more information, please visit the Settlement Web site at http://www.BlueSkySodaClassAction.com or write to the lawyers for the class at:

Blue Sky Settlement Gutride Safier LLP P.O. Box 460823 San Francisco, CA 94146

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