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9 Mär 2018

Perkins Coie, JD Supra (USA)

USA: Chocolate manufacturer Hershey to face consumers' lawsuit alleging failure to disclose human rights abuses in their supply chain

"New Human Rights Case Alleging Deception Of Consumers Filed Against Food Companies (This Time On The East Coast)", 7 Mar 2018

...[A] new class action case was filed on February 26, 2018 in Massachusetts federal court (Tomasella v. Hershey Co.) alleging human rights violations associated with cocoa farming and processing...[T]he complaint is premised on a theory of unjust enrichment in violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Law - namely, that the defendants, by failing to disclose trafficking and child labor in their supply chains (and...asserting in their disclosures that they had “zero tolerance” for such activities), caused consumers to purchase their products when they never would have done so had they known about the purported trafficked and child labor taint in the products’ supply chains...[T]he civil complaint...faults defendants for “not disclos[ing] this to consumers at the point of purchase.”...The complaint...goes on to detail various specific claims made in Hershey’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report that it asserts are false or misleading...The claimed class includes all consumers who purchased Hershey Chocolate Products in Massachusetts during the four years prior to the filing of the complaint...