$775,000 Settlement Reached in Costco Coconut Oil Class Action

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel


On May 1, 2017, Costco Wholesale Corp. reached a $775,000 settlement with certain customers who claimed that the warehouse club misled shoppers into thinking that its private label Kirkland Signature Coconut Oil was “healthy and delicious.” Named plaintiffs in the suit, James Boswell and Michelle Salazar-Navarro, filed claims against the superstore in January 2016, alleging that Costco misbranded its own coconut oil as being a healthy alternative to butter and other oils. 

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs asserted that at the time of purchase, the Kirkland Signature label disclosed the many health benefits of the product, describing coconut trees as being “the tree of life” and the “tree of Heaven.” However, far from being a healthy option, the coconut oil was apparently full of saturated fat. Plaintiffs claimed that had they been aware of the true nature of the product, they either would not have paid the full retail price of $24.99 for it or simply would not have purchased the product at all.


According to the settlement agreement, Costco will no longer use the word “healthy” or any variation thereof to advertise its Kirkland Signature Coconut Oil. Costco further pledged to pay $775,000 to a common benefit fund. Class members who purchased a 42.3-ounce jar of Kirkland Signature Coconut Oil between March 1, 2014 and June 30, 2016 are entitled to recover anywhere from 30 cents to $3 per jar of Kirkland Coconut Oil.

The Case Is: James Boswell et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corp., Case No.: 8:16-cv-00278 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California


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