punitive class actions, including one managed by Attorneys
John Weston, and
Scott E. Diamond of Sacks Weston Diamond LLC in Philadelphia, have been filed against The
Coca-Cola Company, Pepsi-Cola Company, and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc.
for alleged false marketing tactics. The class actions each state that
the companies knowingly advertised “diet” soda beverages that
contained aspartame as a helpful way to avoid calories and even lose or
manage weight while dieting, when in reality aspartame may actually cause
weight gain. All of the class actions were filed in a New York federal court.
All three complaints, each one targeting one of the soda manufacturing
giants, point to recent and outstanding scientific studies that indicate
aspartame’s weight gain properties. According to several studies,
aspartame can confuse the drinker’s regular metabolism, triggering
the body to actually hold onto calories for longer. In the end, drinking
too much diet soda could feasibly be a direct cause of weight gain. Additionally,
the complaints note that aspartame has also been linked to dangerous health
conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Sacks Weston Diamond LLC is working alongside Derek Smith Law Group PLLC
and The Law Office of Jack Fitzgerald PC to bring the three class actions
against the three separate plaintiffs. Each claim points towards New York
legislation that makes it unlawful to falsely advertise to consumers,
or attempt to deceive them. By tacking the word “diet” onto
a soda, a reasonable person would assume it was meant to help with dieting
and, thus, weight loss.
There are several plaintiffs behind the lawsuits. Each has been obese for
many years and turned to “diet” soda brands for help managing
a healthy weight, and none were told that aspartame consumption could
actually trigger weight gain and an increase in appetite. In effect, the
soda manufacturers contributed to the plaintiff’s health problems
and collected profits through the sale of misleading products.
The lawsuits demand three conclusions:
- Plaintiffs and all other proposed classes of people be compensated fairly.
- Sodas with nonnutritive artificial sweeteners can no longer be labeled
- Soda manufacturers conduct public campaigns to spread awareness of aspartame’s
effects on the body, and how previous iterations of their products were
improperly labeled as “diet.”
The cases are Excevarria et al. v. Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. et al.,
1:17-cv-07957, Geffner et al. v. The Coca-Cola Co., case number
17-cv-07952, and Manuel et al. v. Pepsi-Cola Co., case number
17-cv-07955, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
(For additional information about this ongoing case, you can
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