Private Mediation Could Resolve Truffle Oil Dispute
Wednesday, December, 6, 2017
Mediation could resolve the class action lawsuit filed in the spring of 2017 against Sabatino Truffles, a truffle oil manufacturer in New York. The lawsuit claims the oil was infused with perfume and not actual truffles. The case was ordered to private mediation in late October, according to an order issued by the judge.
The judge also issued orders for pretrial and trial procedures, if the mediation is unsuccessful. He set a cut-off date of June 2018 for resolving the issue through mediation and set a trial date of January 8, 2019 if necessary.
The judge’s orders came as part of a court-issued show cause order that required plaintiffs in the case to show why the judge should not just dismiss the case.
The original class action lawsuit was filed in May 2017 against the truffle company by three people – Louise Crespo, Patrick Quiroz, and Dominique Mirza. All three alleged that the company is guilty of negligent misrepresentation and false labeling of its white and black truffle infused olive oils. According to the lawsuit, the company’s labels on the oils say that it is infused with black and white truffles. The plaintiffs believe this not to be the case and claim the oils actually contain a chemical that mimics the taste and smell of truffle oil. The plaintiffs claim the company used formaldehyde to flavor its oils.
If it was proven that the company’s labeling is dishonest in its claims, it would be guilty of violating California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law, and False Advertising Law, as well as laws in several other states where the oil was sold.