$15M Settlement Moves Forward in Post Foods’ High-Sugar Cereal Class Action

A Northern District of California judge has tentatively greenlighted a class settlement between Post Foods, LLC (Post) and consumers who sued the manufacturer over misleading health claims affixed to its high added sugar cereals. The court’s Wednesday order preliminarily approving the settlement, as amended, confirms the agreement reached by the parties in mid-January, and is set to provide class members with both a damages award and injunctive relief.

By way of background, consumers alleged that Post “leverages a policy and practice of marketing high-sugar cereals with health and wellness claims,” to enhance its profits, despite scientific evidence showing that such added sugar is coupled with serious health risks. The 2016 case, which has been litigated extensively before Judge William H. Orrick, has been through multiple rounds of dismissal briefing and decisions, culminating most recently with the filing of the plaintiffs’ third amended complaint.

Pursuant to this week’s order, the case is stayed, except as necessary to implement the settlement. The order specifies when certain events are to take place, including a deadline for the plaintiffs to file a motion for attorneys’ fees, costs, and incentive awards, the notice completion date, and the deadline to make a claim, opt out, and object.

The order also requires Post, in possession of approximately 68,400 individual customer email addresses that likely include settlement class members, to produce that information to the class administrator. It then directs the administrator to use the contacts solely for disseminating class notice, while requiring it to safeguard the individuals’ information.

The final approval hearing is scheduled for June 23.

The class is represented by The Law Office of Jack Fitzgerald, PC and Jackson & Foster, LLC, and Post by Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.