A Prairie Grove woman is suing Ocean Spray, saying the company falsely claims it adds no sugar to its cranberry juice.
Breanna Center filed the lawsuit in Washington County Circuit Court on May 22. The case was moved to federal court Thursday, according to court records.
Center filed the lawsuit on behalf of herself and others who have bought Ocean Spray’s cranberry juice with the “no sugar added” label. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Ocean Spray.
A company representative told the court the case reaches above $5 million because of the number of people who have bought the juice. Cases above $5 million are typically forwarded to federal court.
The lawsuit states Ocean Spray’s 100 Percent Cranberry Juice is mislabeled and thus breaks Arkansas state law. Although the front of the bottle states the juice has “no sugar added,” the product contains concentrated fruit juice, according to the suit.
The lawsuit cites the Arkansas law that states the terms “no added sugar,” “without added sugar,” or “no sugar added” may be used on products only if the product does not contain concentrated fruit juice, among other restrictions.
“The labels on the Ocean Spray product—aside from being unlawful under Arkansas law—are also misleading, deceptive, unfair and fraudulent,” the lawsuit states. “The very face that (Ocean Spray) sold the illegal Ocean Spray product and did not disclose this fact to consumers is a deceptive act in and of itself.”
Center is represented by Kenneth Shemin of the Shemin Law Firm out of Rogers, while Ocean Spray is being defended by Marshall Ney out of Rogers, according to court records.