In the case of Stewart v. Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., plaintiffs allege that Skinny Girl Margarita products are falsely marketed as "all natural", in that they contain a chemical preservative. Accordingly, plaintiffs have asserted a claim that defendant has unjustly procured financial gain to the detriment of the consumer, known as unjust enrichment.
The Federal Court in the case has recently determined that under New Jersey law, plaintiffs may assert a claim for unjust enrichment against the product manufacturer, even though the product was purchased from a third party retailer. The Court stated as follows:
"This Court is of the view that it would be inequitable to suggest that the Beam defendants can insulate themselves from liability on an unjust enrichment claim simply by asserting that retail sales by liquor stores cut off any relationship between the consumers and manufacturer. This is particularly true in this case where plaintiffs cannot seek a remedy directly from the liquor stores based on misrepresentations allegedly made by the Beam defendants themselves as to the 'all-natural' nature of Skinny Girl Margarita."
The chemical preservative contained in the Skinny Girl Margarita products is sodium benzoate, which is an inexpensive mold inhibitor used to extend a product's shelf life. Sodium benzoate is reportedly a potentially toxic synthetic preservative that deprives cells of oxygen, thereby breaking down the immune system and making one more susceptible to disease.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.