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Makers of Arizona Green Tea Face Class Claims Over Ginseng Levels

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

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On April 3, 2019, litigation was commenced against the makers of the popular iced tea brand, Arizona Tea, in federal court in the Eastern District of New York, alleging that the company intentionally misled consumers as to the true ingredients of its Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey.In the complaint, class claim plaintiffs Kalesha Niles and Jason Lahey, alleged that Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey, which defendant boasts on its website to be “America’s best-selling green tea,” does not in fact contain any detectible amount of ginseng. The green tea is extensively marketed by the defendant as containing ginseng for the purpose of providing energy. The product did not list the actual amount of ginseng included, but instead stated that it has “just the right amount of ginseng.” Plaintiffs argued that this omission has misled millions of consumers and enticed them to pay a premium for the product. Plaintiffs also alleged that the defendant was trying to create a niche in the ever-expanding energy drink market by taking advantage of consumers’ desires to purchase more health-conscious products. While ginseng is knowns for its health benefits, the price of ginseng has risen significantly in recent years up to as much as $1,000 per pound. Therefore, plaintiffs argued that the defendant knew that if the product were to contain enough ginseng to actually provide energy, company revenues would suffer.

The plaintiffs seek to represent a nationwide class of all persons who purchased a gallon-jug or 23-ounce can of Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey between April 1, 2015 and present. In addition to the nationwide class, the plaintiffs have requested New York and Florida subclasses. The suit brings causes of action for common law fraud, deceit and misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty and violation of the Consumer Protection Acts of 49 states and D.C. including New York General Business Law §349 & 350.

The case is: Niles et al. v. Beverage Marketing USA Inc. et al., Case No.: 2:19-cv-01902, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

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