Coke Pays $2.5M To Settle Suit Over Ginger Ale Labels

Food and Beverage Labeling Drugs, Supplements and Health

Law 360
Ryan Boysen
May 10, 2019

The Coca-Cola Co. has agreed to a roughly $2.5 million deal to settle claims that the "made with real ginger" labeling on its Seagram's ginger ale is misleading, the last in a trio of similar proposed class actions to settle this year.

Announced Thursday in a motion for approval in California federal court, named plaintiff Jackie Fitzhenry-Russell said the deal is a solid outcome for her proposed national class of ginger ale drinkers, given the difficulty of proving at trial that consumers relied on the "made with real ginger" statements and paid a premium because of them.

"Under the circumstances, plaintiffs and plaintiffs' counsel appropriately determined that the instant settlement outweighs the gamble of continued litigation," Fitzhenry-Russell said.

The settlement would see Coca-Cola agree to stop using the "made with real ginger" claim on its Seagram's ginger ale products, in favor of less clear-cut statements like "real ginger extract" or "natural ginger taste."

The deal establishes a $2.5 million fund that will pay out between 80 cents per product per consumer, up to a maximum of $10 per consumer without proof of purchase and $80 with proof of purchase.


Fitzhenry-Russell is represented by Adam Gutride, Seth Safier, Marie McCrary, Matthew McCrary and Kristen Simplicio of Gutride Safier LLP.

Coca-Cola is represented by Steven Zalesin and Michelle Cohen of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP and Tammy Webb of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP.

The case is Jackie Fitzhenry-Russell v. The Coca-Cola Co., case number 5:17-cv-00603, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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