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Jacob Harper Quoted in National Law Journal Article

TroyGould Litigation associate Jacob Harper was quoted in an Aug. 12 article in The National Law Journal about the dismissal of a class action filed against Kroger and Ralphs grocery store chains. The suit alleged that the packaging of private-label sunflower seeds misled consumers about sodium content.

The case, brought on April 7 in Los Angeles, claimed sunflower seeds sold at Kroger and Ralphs stores did not properly disclose the amount of sodium contained in its sunflower seed products by not including the salt on the inedible shell.

On August 8, 2014, U.S. District Judge Manuel Real concluded that the ingredients listed on the label clearly pertained only to the “edible portion” of the sunflower seed.
“The fact that the label in the instant case specifically refers to the sodium content on the ‘edible portion’ of the product renders Weiss’ claims implausible,” Real wrote. “A reasonable consumer knows that the seed is edible and that the shell is not, and would understand that the edible portion that the label referred to was the seed.”

Harper, counsel for The Kroger Co., the Cincinnati chain that owns Ralphs, said “He (Judge Real) was clear it was because the label on the Kroger and Ralphs sunflower seeds was not misleading. It complied with all notions of what an edible portion of a sunflower seed was.”