Law Street Media

Walmart Sued for False Advertising of their “Mayo with Olive Oil” Products

A Walmart store front.

Salinas, United States - April 8, 2014: Walmart store exterior. Walmart is an American multinational corporation that runs large discount stores and is the world's largest public corporation.

On Tuesday, Jeremy Guzman filed a complaint in the Northern District of Illinois – Eastern Division against Walmart Inc. for false advertising of their “Mayo with Olive Oil” products for not containing reasonable amounts of olive oil.

Mayonnaise, per the complaint, is an “ultra-processed food” that is considered very unhealthy, especially due to its soybean oil which “not only leads to obesity and diabetes, but could also affect neurological conditions like autism, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and depression.” However, olive oil is considered healthy as its natural ingredients help control cholesterol and it “promotes brain function, bone strength, and balanced blood sugar.” Though the inclusion of olive oil is communicated by pictures of olives on the packaging, it is the third listed ingredient behind soybean oil and water which the plaintiff claimed “insufficient to confer any of the health benefits associated with olive oil nor reduce the harmful effects of the soybean oil used.”

Because of these findings, the plaintiff argued that the “Product that [he] purchased was materially less than its value as represented by Defendant” which was sold at a “premium price.” He claimed that he would have bought name brand alternatives if he had known the truth about these products, and that he relied on Walmart’s “significant amount of goodwill” when purchasing this mayonnaise. As a result, he is suing for violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, violations of state consumer fraud acts, breach of express and implied warranty, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and unjust enrichment.

The plaintiff is seeking class certification, injunctive relief enjoining the Defendant to correct the challenged practices to comply with the law, restitution and disgorgement, monetary damages, statutory, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs, and other relief.

The plaintiff is represented by Sheehan & Associates, P.C.

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