A battle over the facts — nutrition facts that is — has come to a close. This afternoon better-for-you snack producer Lenny & Larry’s agreed to settle a lawsuit over whether its cookies contained the advertised amount of protein. According to terms of the settlement, Lenny & Larry’s has agreed to pay $1.85 million in legal fees and up to $3.15 million in free products.
Earlier this week, Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookies agreed to settle a suit over “whether its cookies contained the advertised amount of protein.” The company produces better-for-you-snacks, and under the settlement, it will pay “$1.85 million in legal fees and another $3.15 in million in free products.”
The lawsuit itself was filed back in 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Easter Division on behalf of two consumers. According to the suit, the two plaintiffs “purchased Lenny & Larry Complete Cookies and subsequently found the cookies did not have the 16 grams of protein its nutrition facts panel stated it contained.” Instead, the suit argued that each individual cookie only contained “between four and nine grams of protein.”
The suit further stated:
“[The] defendant engaged in unfair and/or deceptive business practices by misrepresenting the natural and quality of the product on the product label and as a result, the defendant was unjustly enriched. Defendant’s unfair and deceptive practices include, inter alias, uniformly formulating and manufacturing a product that does not meet the numerous false and misleading claims on the labels of the product.”
Shortly after the suit was filed, Lenny & Larry’s pushed back by tweeting that “Anyone can file a lawsuit, and this person has sued before only to have the court toss her claim. This is no different.” The company later tweeted that the lawsuit was “a classic example of the rise in food marketing lawsuits designed to make money for plaintiff’s lawyers.”
Despite agreeing to the recent settlement, the company’s CEO, Apu Mody, revealed that the “company admits no fault and has no plans to adjust its nutrition facts or claims.” He added that the company only decided to settle so it could avoid the distraction and legal fees that would result from prolonged litigation.
Mody also added that his company “stands by its protein claims…which are determined and verified by an independent third party lab that the majority of the industry uses.” According to Mody, the only thing in need of adjustment is the “ease of filing litigation in the U.S.” He said:
“Unfortunately, [lawsuits] absolutely have just become the reality of just doing business… I think if you talk to most of my peers in the industry, they’d say that these are just, unfortunately, becoming more and more onerous and becoming a nuisance and distraction then they should be. Until there’s real reform on tort law and putting a little more burden before you can bring something like this forward and a cost of doing that, we’re just going to continue to see more of these rather than less.”