Is it reasonable for the public to assume that a drink named “Vitamin Water” is a healthy beverage? That is contains…well…vitamins that are healthy? Well, you can assume it, and I think you would be reasonable in your assumption, but you would be wrong. And, according to Coke, unbelievably:
“no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.”
A lawsuit has been filed by the non-profit, Center for Science in the Public Interest, alleges that Vitaminwater labels and advertising are filled with “deceptive and unsubstantiated claims.” And Coke admits it, and argues that the quote above is sufficient rebuttal. The judge, a sharp guy named John Gleeson, accepted (because of Coke’s tacit admission) “the factual allegations in the complaint as true”. Judge Gleeson denied a motion to dismiss for a variety of excellent reasons related to the company’s deceptive claims and product labeling.
Remember the made-for-TV, ridiculous “Lebron James goes to Miami” self-promotion on ESPN? Vitaminwater was a prominent sponsor touting itself as a product that will…well…help keep us or make us….healthy.
Jon Robbins, in a brilliant Huffington Post article, calls Coke out as follows:
“I still can’t get over the bizarre audacity of Coke’s legal case. Forced to defend themselves in court, they are acknowledging that vitaminwater isn’t a healthy product. But they are arguing that advertising it as such isn’t false advertising, because no could possibly believe such a ridiculous claim. I guess that’s why they spend hundreds of millions of dollars advertising the product, saying it will keep you ‘healthy as a horse,’ and will bring about a ‘healthy state of physical and mental well-being.’
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will figure out a way to defend Coke, demonize victims, and determine that this important lawsuit exposing the latest corporate liar is an example of “lawsuit abuse” or is “frivolous”. But what about “Defense Abuse” or “frivolous defenses”? I promise you, from 33 years of experience, that the defense abuses and trivializes the legal system far more often than any plaintiff or plaintiff’s attorney ever has or would. Corporate defendants and insurance companies lie, cheat, and (as the American Association for Justice states) ‘delay, deny, defend, confuse, refuse’ and more, in an effort to persuade victims to cash in their chips, too soon, for too little.
Caught lying, here, Coke thinks that it can wiggle out of the mess it created by suggesting that we, the public, could not be stupid enough to ever believe that a product called “Vitaminwater” had healthy qualities. Well, I guess I am stupid. Are there any more “stupid people” out there?
Lawsuit Financial Corporation helps provide legal finance and cash flow solutions and consulting if necessities of life litigation funding is needed while personal injury litigation is pending. The company CEO and Lawsuit Finance Blog Author, Mark M. Bello, is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.