Times Union: Lawsuit alleges StarKist misled consumers about AHA mark

LRANY’s Tom Stebbins was quoted in a story in the Times Union about a lawsuit filed against canned-tuna company Starkist for its use of the American Heart Association’s logo:

In court documents filed last week in U.S. District Court in Albany, Abraham Jacob Warner said he bought StarKist tuna products as recently as February because of an American Heart Association logo displayed on the cans. The Walker Valley resident said he thought the heart check mark indicated the products were a healthier choice than cans without the logo.

Warner is asking the judge to award $50 to each class member or their actual damages, depending on which is greater, “an increase in the award of damages to an amount not to exceed three times the actual damages up to one thousand dollars,” and lawyer fees and costs.

Tom Stebbins, executive director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, said the complaint highlights the need for change in how the state handles these types of lawsuits.

“Would a reasonable consumer feel they were injured because the company paid administrative fees for use of the American Heart Association Check-Mark logo? And for that matter, would a whole class of consumers feel that way? Something fishy is going on here,” he said in an emailed statement.

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