The Settlement provides both injunctive relief and monetary damages to all Class Members.
In July 2017, approximately six years after this lawsuit began, Conagra removed the “100% Natural” claim from all Wesson labels, and stopped advertising the products as “natural.” Plaintiffs contend that this litigation was a significant factor leading to Conagra’s decision to institute labeling and marketing changes. Conagra contends its decision to change the label did not relate in any way to this litigation.
In November 2018, the Parties agreed to a settlement that included the entry of an injunction ordering that:
- Conagra will not advertise, market or sell Wesson Oil Products labeled as “natural” unless the FDA issues guidance or a regulation, or federal legislation is enacted, permitting use of a “natural” claim on a product containing oil derived from genetically engineered seed stock.
- Conagra will not advertise, market or sell Wesson Oil Products as “non-GMO” unless the claim is certified by an independent third-party certification organization.
- The Settlement does not preclude Conagra from making other changes to the advertising and marketing of Wesson Oil Products, provided that those changes do not conflict with the provisions of the Settlement.
Approximately one month after the Parties reached this agreement, Conagra announced that it had agreed to sell the Wesson brand to Richardson International, a Canadian company. The sale was consummated on February 25, 2019. As a result of that sale, the Parties have revised the terms of the injunctive relief to clarify that it will apply to Conagra in the event it reacquires the Wesson brand.
The Parties agree that the value of this injunctive relief to the Classes is $27,000,000.
The Settlement also provides the following monetary benefits to Class Members: (a) $0.15 for each unit of Wesson Oils purchased by members of each of the eleven Classes to Households submitting Valid Claim Forms (with a maximum Household recovery of 30 units without proof of purchase); (b) an additional fund of $575,000 to be allocated to members of the New York and Oregon state classes who submit Valid Claim forms, as compensation for the statutory damages provided for in the consumer protection laws of those states which Plaintiffs contend apply; and (c) an additional fund of $10,000 to compensate members of each of the eleven Classes to Households submitting valid proof of purchase receipts for more than 30 purchases at $0.15 for each such purchase above 30. Should $10,000 be insufficient to cover such claims, Class Counsel shall pay the non-funded claims from any attorneys’ fees awarded in this case; should the $10,000 fund not be exhausted, the remaining funds will revert to category (b) above for payment to the New York and Oregon state Classes.
Recovery is limited to one Claim per Household, which means all persons residing at the same physical address.