Barilla Class Action Certified Over "Italian" Pasta Claims

barilla pasta class action

Judge Rules Consumers Can Sue Over Allegedly Misleading Branding

Well that’s not amoré. A California federal judge has certified a class action lawsuit against Barilla, the popular pasta brand. Consumers allege the company's packaging, featuring the phrase "Italy's #1 Brand of Pasta" alongside the Italian flag colors, misleadingly suggests the pasta is made in Italy with Italian ingredients.

Did Barilla Paint an Italian Picture?

Plaintiffs Jessica Prost and Matthew Sinatro argue Barilla's marketing deceives consumers into believing the pasta is more authentically Italian than it is. They claim the products are actually made in the United States and do not contain Italian ingredients.

Barilla attempted to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing the packaging had been revised and the class definition was flawed. However, Judge Donna M. Ryu disagreed, ruling that the plaintiffs had suffered common harm due to the alleged deception.

Italian Roots or False Advertising?

In October 2022, Barilla argued in front of the judge that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the marketing merely "invokes the Company's Italian roots." However, the judge sided with the plaintiffs, concluding that the branding suggests the products are either made in Italy or with Italian ingredients.

However, she did reject the plaintiff’s requests for injunctive relief and their argument of threat of future harm, stating “plaintiffs cannot plausibly allege that they remain unaware that the products are manufactured in the United States from ingredients that are not from Italy or that they reasonable would be misled if they encounter the [trademarked phrase] in the future.”

False Advertising Lands Companies In Court

Injury Claims has recently reported on a number of companies, including food and beverage producers, landing in court due to false advertising claims filed by consumers. 

Vizzy Mimosa consumers argue the product is masquerading as a “mimosa,” when really its contents are just plain beer, a new proposed class action lawsuit alleges. Meanwhile, Ricola is being accused of keeping a sweet secret about its cough drops, according to a new lawsuit that alleges the company misled customers about the origins of the drops' herbal flavors.  

And in the baby product market, parents are in a stink after Target allegedly told them that their Up & Up diaper pail refill bags would give them stress-free diaper disposal for one year, when in fact they lasted only a matter of months, a new class action lawsuit alleges.

While it’s unclear what the consumers in each of these lawsuits will achieve in terms of making a change in the companies’ advertising, it’s always important to hold companies accountable for false advertising to ensure transparency, protect consumer rights, and promote fair business practices.

Case Details

  • Lawsuit: Sinatro et al. v. Barilla America, Inc.
  • Case Number: 22-cv-03460-DMR
  • Court: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Plaintiffs' Attorneys

  • Ryan J. Clarkson, Shireen M. Clarkson, Katherine A. Bruce, and Kelsey J. Elling (Clarkson Law Firm)



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