Judge Rules in Tootsie Roll “Slack-Fill” Case

A case brought against the makers of Junior Mints and Sugar Babies candy was dismissed on Monday in an opinion. The New Jersey case alleged that the defendants were engaging in “slack-fill,” the practice of only partially filling product packaging.

The suit was initially filed by plaintiff Regan Iglesia against defendant Tootsie Roll Industries, LLC (TRI). Iglesia had initially accused TRI of engaging in “false, deceptive, unfair, unlawful, and fraudulent advertising and labeling” when producing their Junior Mints and Sugar Babies products.

The plaintiff alleged that the sole reason the products at issue were sold in opaque packaging was to mask the fact that the box was not filled completely. Iglesia was seeking damages and restitution since Americans were consistently paying “for empty space at premium prices.” He believed the actions by TRI constituted violations of fraud acts, breaches of warranty, unjust enrichment, and intentional and negligent misrepresentation.

In response to the suit, TRI filed a motion to dismiss. Their Director of Research & Development and Quality Assurance, Gordon Brown, explained the reasoning for the size and depth of the packaging the products were sold in. TRI further asserted that Iglesia failed to state proper claims for many of their charges, including breaches of warranty and unjust enrichment. They added that all claims regarding their product Sugar Babies should be dismissed for lack of standing, and that all fraud and representation-based claims should be dismissed.

Most recently, Judge Anne E. Thompson announced that the defendant’s motion to dismiss the suit was granted based on the aforementioned reasoning. She further explained that the plaintiff, Regan Iglesia, would be “granted leave to amend the Amended Complaint to cure the deficiencies identified in the Court’s accompanying Opinion.” Iglesia will have 30 days to amend the complaint.

The plaintiff is represented by Miller Shah, LLP. The defendant is represented by Bond, Schoeneck and King.