The Case of the Fraudulent Coke

Oshana v. Coca-Cola, 472 F.3d 506 (7th Cir. 2006).

Crystal Coke?

photo by Andy

Did you know that Diet Coke from a fountain and Diet Coke from a can are made with different sweeteners? No? Next question: do you care? If you answered yes, then you may be able to resurrect this failed class action!

Oshana was supposed to be a class action against Coca-Cola for unjust enrichment and violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act on the theory that Coca-Cola concealed the fact that fountain Diet Coke contains a blend of saccharin and aspartame, and canned or bottled Diet Coke contains only aspartame.

Now, to proceed with a class action, you’ve got to have a named plaintiff, someone who epitomizes the angst of the duped Diet Coke drinker. Trouble with this particular named plaintiff was that she knew there was a difference between the two Cokes, and she didn’t care. She admitted that “she knew fountain and bottled Diet Coke were different because bottled Diet Coke tasted better [, and] also admitted that she continues to drink fountain Diet Coke even though she now knows it contains saccharin.” If your named plaintiff doesn’t care, why would the court? They wouldn’t.

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