Entries in Lawsuits (12)


Lawsuit Claims Budweiser and Other Brands are Watered-Down

Alexander Zemlianichenko JR/Bloomberg via Getty Images(SAN FRANSISCO) -- There may be some truth to the joke that certain beers are no more than water.

A new class lawsuit claims Anheuser-Busch is watering down its Budweiser and several other brands, and that drinkers are being cheated by lower-than-advertised alcohol content.

The lawsuit is a multi-state endeavor, with claims being filed in federal courts in Philadelphia,  New Jersey and San Francisco.

Josh Boxer, an attorney for plaintiffs in California, said the plaintiffs were tipped off to the overstated alcohol through information from former workers at some of the company’s 13 U.S. breweries.

The lawsuit alleges that watering down of beers began after Anheuser-Busch merged with the Belgian-Brazilian company InBev in 2008, to form the world's largest alcohol producer.

A lower alcohol content means more water, and a cheaper beer for Anheuser-Busch to make, increasing profits and “intentionally short[ing] the alcohol content,” Boxer said in a phone interview.

One of the plaintiffs claims she bought a six pack of Budweiser every week for the past four years and says she feels cheated.

Anheuser-Busch, naturally, disputes these claims. Peter Kraemer, the company’s vice president of brewing and supply, called them “completely false,” in an e-mail.

“Our beers are in full compliance with all alcohol labeling laws,” Kraemer said. “We proudly adhere to the highest standards in brewing our beers, which have made them the best-selling in the U.S. and the world.”

If the claims are true, total damages “could be quite significant based on the volume of products that AB produces a year,” Boxer said. The complaints all seek damages over $5 million.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Carnival Cruise Lines Now Faces Expected Wave of Lawsuits

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Despite having their feet back on solid ground and making their way home, passengers from the Carnival Triumph cruise ship are still fuming over their five days of squalor on the stricken ship and the cruise ship company is likely to be hit with a wave of lawsuits.

"I think people are going to file suits and rightly so," maritime trial attorney John Hickey told ABC News. "I think, frankly, that the conduct of Carnival has been outrageous from the get-go."

Hickey, a Miami-based attorney, said his firm has already received "quite a few" inquiries from passengers who just got off the ship early Friday morning.

"What you have here is a) negligence on the part of Carnival and b) you have them, the passengers, being exposed to the risk of actual physical injury," Hickey said.

The attorney said that whether passengers can recover monetary compensation will depend on maritime law and the 15-pages of legal "gobbledygook," as Hickey described it, that passengers signed before boarding, but "nobody really agrees to."

One of the ticket conditions is that class action lawsuits are not allowed, but Hickey said there is a possibility that could be voided when all the conditions of the situation are taken into account.

One of the passengers already thinking about legal action is Tammy Hilley, a mother of two, who was on a girl's getaway with her two friends when a fire in the ship's engine room disabled the vessel's propulsion system and knocked out most of its power.

"I think that's a direction that our families will talk about, consider and see what's right for us," Hilley told Good Morning America when asked if she would be seeking legal action.

While she said that she does not want to be greedy or exploit the situation, she does not feel that Carnival's $500 compensation is enough for the trauma passengers suffered.

"You talk about the emotional trauma and just last night, feeling what we went through last night while we were on land with our families and our insides just trembling," she said. "I don't think it begins to even say what is needed here."

In addition to the money, passengers will receive a full refund for the cruise, transportation expenses and vouchers for another cruise.

"We made our own nest [on deck] because we were just too terrified to go inside because of the smells and the germs, so we just banded together and made our own little nest and just survived," Hilley's friend Ann Barlow said.

Her friend Carolyn Klam said she got a stomach virus from drinking bad water once the power went out and friend Tammy Hilley said her cell phone was stolen Friday morning as the boat came into port.

"I think going back to our room was kind of traumatic and seeing that from day one we had no home, we were homeless," Hilley said. "We would go downstairs below deck and your feet could feel the sludge that you were walking through. The smells and the liquids draining from the ceiling and the stories of people sleeping in the hallways and the sanitary bags in the hallway, that was traumatic to just watch it start piling up."

The more than 4,000 passengers and crew began to disembark from the damaged ship around 10:15 p.m. CT Thursday in Mobile, Ala., amid cheers and tears. The last passenger left the ship at 1 a.m. CT, according to Carnival's Twitter handle.

Approximately 100 buses were waiting to take passengers on the next stage of their journey. Passengers had the option to take a bus ride to New Orleans or Galveston, Texas, where the ill-fated ship's voyage began. From there, passengers will take flights home, which Carnival said it would pay for.

Inside the buses, Carnival handed out bags of food that included French fries, chicken nuggets, honey mustard barbecue sauce and apples.

Carnival president and CEO Gerry Cahill praised the ship's crew and told reporters that he was headed on board to apologize directly to its passengers shortly before the Carnival Triumph arrived in Mobile.

"I know the conditions on board were very poor," Cahill said Thursday night. "I know it was very difficult, and I want to apologize again for subjecting our guests [to] that. ...Clearly, we failed in this particular case."

Luckily no one was hurt in the fire that triggered the power outage, but many passengers aboard the 900-foot colossus said they smelled smoke and were living in fear.

Carnival's original plan was to tow the damaged ship to Progreso, Mexico, because it was the closest port, but by the time tugboats arrived, the ship had drifted about 90 miles north due to strong currents, putting it nearly equidistant to Mobile, Ala.

Carnival added that it has canceled a dozen planned voyages for the Triumph and acknowledged that the crippled ship had been plagued by other mechanical problems in the weeks before an engine-room fire left it powerless in the Gulf of Mexico.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Joe Francis 'Goes Wild' on Steve Wynn's Lawsuit

Angela Weiss/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Las Vegas is a town accustomed to big-ticket bouts, and now one of sin city's nastiest fights is about to enter round three as Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis is taking on hotel magnate Steve Wynn in court.

Francis, who is known for creating the salacious spring-break videos Girls Gone Wild, insists the only person who has gone wild is Wynn, the Las Vegas casino billionaire who Francis claims wants him dead.

"I was afraid for my life … He made it very clear that he wanted to kill me," Francis told ABC News in an exclusive interview.

Francis says Wynn sent ominous, threatening emails about him that were seen by multiple people, including legendary music producer Quincy Jones.

"In all caps, and then exclamation points -- like a crazy person's e-mail -- [Wynn wrote] 'I'm going hit to him in the back of the head with a shovel and have him buried in the middle of the desert,'" Francis said.

Francis, 39, is now entrenched in a contentious court battle with the Vegas hotel magnate. Wynn, 70, is also suing Francis for defamation, saying Francis has been telling people about the alleged death threats in an attempt to ruin his reputation.

"There has never been any statement from Quincy Jones or anyone else confirming that this ever happened," Wynn said.

Jones was initially scheduled to testify during the trial, but he's since been excused due to a medical condition. He said that he has no comment on the case.

"For Wynn to win this case, he has to show that Francis made statements against him that were false and that hurt him," Los Angeles trial lawyer Irwin Feinberg said. "For Francis to win, he has to show that the statements he made -- either didn't make the statements, or if he made them they were true, or if they weren't true, they were somehow privileged."

This clash erupted more than three years ago when Francis allegedly racked up a $2 million gambling debt at one of Wynn's casinos.

Francis denies this, telling ABC News, "the gambling debt never existed."

Wynn took Francis to court, not once but twice. And now he's rolling the dice again.

Wynn's lawyer also claims Francis talked about the "ominous" emails to a reporter outside the courtroom "knowing that the statement would be republished throughout the world."

Francis denies this, claiming that the reporter heard him talk about it inside the courtroom, and that his courtroom comments are "privileged."

Francis, who is also suing Wynn in three lawsuits currently pending -- for alleged forged documents, fraud and defamation -- has asked for a restraining order against Wynn. Francis feels confident facing the third round of this battle.

"I'm going to win!" he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Top 5 Tips to Fight Junk Debt Lawsuits

George Doyle/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Creditors who buy consumers' old debt for pennies on the dollar have increasingly won bogus lawsuits, but consumers can begin to fight back by taking a few easy steps.

One judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., this week called about 90 percent of credit card lawsuits, often the source of debt junk suits, "flawed."

A common example of junk debt is credit card debt that a private company purchases from banks, or another original creditor. Original creditors or junk-debt buyers can sue the borrower for the money.

Peter Holland, a professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, wrote the paper "Defending Junk-Debt-Buyer Lawsuits," which was published in the Journal of Poverty Law and Policy in June. In Maryland, one junk debt creditor filed more than 7,000 lawsuits in November and December 2011 alone, he wrote. Another Maryland creditor filed 130 lawsuits on one day in March 2011.

He said many defendants in these lawsuits don't have the resources for an attorney, but he said they can still use the following five tips if they are on the receiving end of a junk debt suit.

1. Don't ignore a lawsuit.

Holland said the most important thing to keep in mind is that more than 90 percent of cases are won by default judgment because the sued party doesn't appear in court.

Holland, who works with borrowers the University of Maryland's Consumer Protection Clinic in Baltimore, said one common tactic of creditors' lawyers is to tell you that you don't need to show up in court.

"People are too scared to show up and defend themselves," he said. "Rule No. 1: Show up in court and make them prove their case. File an answer. Don't ignore it."

2. Contact your state attorney general's office and state bar association.

While many people who have a large amount of debt may not be able to afford to hire an attorney when faced with a junk-debt lawsuit, Holland said many states have other legal services available.

Holland and law students from the University of Maryland provide pro-bono services to the local Consumer Protection Clinic, but he said there were similar services around the country, given the increasing number of junk-debt lawsuits.

"This is the No. 1 case in small claims court. They are clogging the courts across the country. Everybody understands there is rampant fraud in the industry," he said.

3. Check for robo-signing.

Holland said borrowers should look for an indication of robo-signing in the junk-debt documentation. Like the foreclosure robo-signing debacle that led to a $25 billion settlement this year, many creditors also use illegal, robo-signing procedures when buying junk debt.

Defendants should even use the Internet to search the names of the people who signed the documents to make sure they are authentic signatures of real people.

"You'd be amazed. I've seen five different versions of a person's signature. The forgery and robo-signing are rampant," he said.

4. Read the creditor's documentation.

The creditor may also claim that borrowers owe more money than their actual debts because a bank has tacked on extra fees that were never agreed upon.

Holland has seen junk debt repurchased from creditor to creditor as many as six times, with lost paperwork along the way.

"If it's a junk-debt lawsuit, they have to prove a chain of title showing they own it," Holland said.

5. Avoid settlements negotiated in the hallway.

Holland said the opposing attorney will sometimes try to cut a deal with defendants in the hallway outside the courtroom if they seem vulnerable or intimidated. But often these settlements are "set up to make you fail," he said.

"They'll tell you, 'I know you don't want to go before a judge'," Holland said. Then they will set up an unrealistic payment plan that could leave you liable for the full judgment amount if you miss a payment.

Holland, however, suggests you do communicate with the opposing counsel in case you need to ask opposing counsel for supporting documents. If its documentation or arguments are weak, he said you or your attorney might consider calling opposing counsel to ask it to dismiss, which can have "very quick results."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Apple v. Samsung: Court Documents Include Photos of iPhone and iPad Prototypes

Tony Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Monday, Apple and Samsung finally go to trial in the U.S. to settle their patent dispute. Apple sued Samsung for intellectual property infringement (copying its iPad and iPhone) last year. Samsung responded with a countersuit.

The companies will argue over who conceived which features of today's mobile devices. It is expected to be the largest technology patent suit ever.

But along the way Apple will share details on the development of its products, revealing more about the secretive company than ever before.

And the information flow about Apple has already begun. This week a series of court documents, which were made available to lawyers and press, included an abundance of details about Apple's design and business practices. Included in the exhibits were over 50 photos of iPhone and iPad prototypes.

The photos were first spotted by technology sites Buzzfeed FWD and The Verge. They show Apple's different design iterations over the years. Some iPad renderings date back to 2004, six years before the iPad was actually introduced.

Most of the images were exhibits in depositions of key Apple employees, including Jony Ive, Apple's lead designer.

"Steve Jobs and I had multiple conversations about the design of the first iPhone," Ive said during his deposition.

He also details design choices: "We were very clear at the early stages, as I described previously, that for -- for this idea of this infinity edge pool, this -- this oily pond, to -- to actually work, there couldn't be multiple buttons or features that would distract and make -- and undermine the design goal."

Christopher Stringer, another Apple designer, said in his deposition, "We make three-dimensional representations of most of the ideas that we consider to be good."

Stringer said Apple designers actually sit around a kitchen table to work on ideas. "There is no single path for defining how we come up with a new product at Apple, whether it be a new product platform or a generational change or update," Stringer said on Aug. 3, 2011.

Beyond design secrets, the documents reveal Apple's use of focus groups and market research, a practice Apple had publicly denounced before. Steve Jobs famously said, "It isn't the consumer's job to know what they want."

Apple is seeking over $2 billion in damages. If Samsung is found guilty of patent infringement it could result in the ban of specific products in the U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has already granted a preliminary injunction on the sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 as well as on Samsung's Galaxy Nexus. The trial starts on Monday morning.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lawsuit: Gmail, Yahoo Email Invade Privacy, Even Non-Users'

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- By now most of us have accepted a fact of the digital age: If, say, we write the word "eyeglasses" in the body of an email, advertisements for LensCrafters and Armani specs will most likely pop up on our computer screens soon.  We may not like it, but we understand that we trade privacy for the convenience of modern technology.

But some California residents have decided to take a stand against it, and have filed two class action lawsuits against Google and Yahoo in Marin County Superior Court.  The suits, filed on June 12 and June 28, claim that the web giants illegally intercept emails sent from individual non-Gmail and non-Yahoo subscribers to individual Gmail and Yahoo subscribers, without their knowledge, consent or permission.  What's more, they say the interception takes place before the email reaches its intended target.

"We began the investigation quite some time ago when a client came to us," said F. Jerome Tapley, a lawyer in Birmingham, Ala., who represents the plaintiffs.  "They noticed that the ads within their email browser were strangely correlating to the incoming email they were getting from their friends.  It creeps people out."

In the suit, Stuart Diamond, of Marin County; David Sutton, also of Marin County; and Roland Williams of Sonoma County -- none of whom have personal Google or Yahoo email accounts, but have sent emails to people who do -- allege that Google and Yahoo are violating the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA), which prohibits anyone from wiretapping or eavesdropping on emails without the consent, knowledge and permission of all parties.

"The invasion of privacy by wiretapping or, in the alternative, eavesdropping, caused by Google and Yahoo's! continual and pervasive use of such devices seriously threatens the exercise of personal liberties," the lawyers write.

The suit, which is for unspecified financial damages, was filed on behalf of all residents of California who are not Google or Yahoo email subscribers but have sent emails to people who are. 

Yahoo did not respond to requests for comment, but in an email statement, a Google spokesperson said, "We're not going to comment on the ongoing litigation.  But to be clear, ad targeting in Gmail is fully automated, and no humans read users' emails or Google account information in order to show advertisements."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Three TV Networks Sue Dish Network Over Autohop Feature

George Doyle/Stockbyte(NEW YORK) -- Three major TV networks are suing Dish Network after the release of its newest receiver.

The Hopper, which was introduced by Dish Network on May 10, automatically records all primetime shows for the four major TV networks -- ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS -- then allows you to ‘autohop’ over all commercials during the show.

Fox, NBCUniversal, and CBS have filed lawsuits saying the feature violates copyright law, and could destroy free broadcast television. So far, ABC has not filed a lawsuit and has declined to comment on the lawsuits.

Dish Network responded to the lawsuits by filing its own lawsuit on Thursday against all four major TV networks.

In a statement on its website, Dish Network explained “the suit asks for a declaratory judgment that the AutoHop feature does not infringe any copyrights that could be claimed by the major networks, and that DISH, while providing the AutoHop feature, remains in compliance with its agreements with the networks."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Apple Pushes Back on E-Book Pricing Charges

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Tuesday, the Department Justice announced it was suing Apple and major e-book publishers for collaborating and fixing e-books prices.  At the time, Apple did not have a comment on the government suit, but late Thursday night, the computer electronics giant issued a statement to All Things D.

“The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true.  The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry,” Apple’s Tom Neymaur told the website.  “Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging.  Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.”

Apple provided the same statement to ABC News, but declined to elaborate.

While three publishers -- Harper Collins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster -- settled with the Department of Justice after the suit was filed and agreed to reimburse customers in some cases, Apple, MacMillan and Pearson’s Penguin Group have not settled.  If the statement is any indication, Apple plans to fight the suit.

The Department of Justice alleges that during 2009, executives at the highest levels of the named companies worked together to eliminate competition among stores selling e-books, namely Amazon and its $9.99 e-book pricing model.

However, Antitrust Division Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis Pozen has been clear that this will be an ongoing fight.

“We will pursue vigorously our claims against those companies to ensure that consumers get the full benefits of the competition they deserve.  We are taking action to stop what was an illegal conspiracy,” said Pozen.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cruise Survivors Consider Legal Action, Piece Lives Back Together

ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One week after the Costa Concordia cruise ship crashed off the coast of Italy, leaving at least 11 people dead and 21 missing, newlyweds Benji Smith and Emily Lau said they were still trying to get their lives back together as they figured out how to hold those determined responsible for the accident accountable.

"When we first got off the ship we had the adrenaline to keep us pumping and moving," Smith said. "It's hard for us to imagine even working. This is all we can focus on."

The couple believes the cruise company, Costa Concordia, and not just the ship's captain, should be held responsible for the 11 deaths, and the emotional and physical injuries of the survivors. But Smith and Lau also voiced anger at Italian authorities and the U.S. Embassy for what they believed was their unresponsiveness after the escape on the island of Giglio.

More than 120 U.S. citizens were reportedly on the cruise ship, including a missing couple from Minnesota, Jerry and Barbara Heil.

Since returning to their Cambridge, Mass., home this week, Smith and Lau said they had been busy with doctors' appointments, and obtaining new driver's licenses, documentation and replacement car keys.

Smith, a computer scientist, and Lau, a musician, survived the crash by climbing down a rope on the side of the sinking ship. They said they still struggled with their physical and emotional well-being. Lau said she lost access to the entire upper range of her voice, which is problematic for a singer.

The couple had been married 14 days before the accident, which the CEO of the cruise company attributed to "human error" by Capt. Francesco Schettino. Authorities are investigating Schettino for suspected manslaughter and abandoning his ship, among other possible charges.

Under house arrest, Schettino told a judge he had tripped into a lifeboat and did not abandon his ship. Domnica Cemortan, a potential witness, said on Moltovan TV that Schettino was a hero and "the captain saved 3,000 to 4,000 people."

According to the Italian navigation code, a captain who abandons a ship in danger can face up to 12 years in prison.

Costa Crociere S.p.A., doing business as Costa Cruises, owned the cruise ship that carried about 4,200 people. Its parent is British-American company Carnival Corp., the largest company in the cruise industry, with more than 100 ships in service and 11 international brands.

Carnival Corp. did not respond to ABC News' requests for comment, but Carnival's CEO said in a statement: "This tragedy has called into question our company's safety and emergency response policies and procedures."

Morningstar, an independent investement research firm, has estimated the company will face an $85 million to $95 million loss in revenue while the ship is out of service. The capsizing cruise ship could cost its owners $130 million if the ship can be salvaged. If the $650 million luxury liner is too badly damaged, Costa and Carnival will have to absorb that cost too.

Survivors Arthur Beach, a civil defense lawyer, and his wife, Alex Beach, of Albuquerque, N.M., said they would not pursue any legal action, but seek compensation for their lost items.

Oscar Rosales and his family of El Paso, Texas, said they had not yet had the chance to consider whether they would participate in a legal response. Rosales, his wife, daughter and family friend, who all chose to stay in Rome for a few days after the accident, are returning to the U.S. Friday.

"For starters, I don't think they've done enough for the passengers, and so we'll just have to see what they're going to do next," Rosales said, who said the directions to hotels and flights home were "poorly mismanaged."

John H. "Jack" Hickey, a maritime trial attorney in Miami, said passengers seeking to bring claims against the Costa Concordia cruise company would have to do so in Genoa, Italy, where Costa is based, according to Carnival's ticket contract. Hickey represented passengers who suffered severe injuries in July 2006, after the Crown Princess cruise ship tilted nearly 24 degrees.

The ticket contract is about eight pages of legal terminology, which states "the Passenger assumes responsibility for his or her own safety and the Carrier cannot guarantee the Passenger's safety while on or off the Vessel," Forbes reported. If the cruise line had touched a U.S. port, passengers would be able to sue in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Hickey said.

Hickey said he is considering whether to become involved in legal action. Four or five survivors of the recent crash have contacted his law office, and he has begun working with a lawyer in Italy. Hickey said those with physical and emotional injuries could potentially receive compensation in the Italian legal system, and all death claims should be pursued.

A class action has been initiated by an Italian consumer defense group, Codacons. About 70 passengers have reportedly joined the suit.

Carlo Rienzi, Codacons head, told the Agence France-Presse he hoped to get each passenger at least $12,774 in compensation for material and emotional damage.

Benji Smith and Emily Lau have said they are working on how to pursue legal action and which legal opinions to trust. The couple said they were reluctant to trust the cruise company even with the reimbursement of their lost luggage.

"We've just been failed, neglected and abandoned over and over again," Smith said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


California Woman Sues OJ Giant Tropicana Over Flavor Packs

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(VACAVILLE, Calif.) -- A California mother is taking on orange juice giant Tropicana, alleging in a lawsuit that the company's not-from-concentrate Pure Premium juice is "heavily processed" and not a "natural" product.

In a class-action suit filed Jan. 6 in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, Angelena Lewis, 32, of Vacaville alleges that the addition of aromas and flavor packs "changes the essential nature" of the juice.

"While Tropicana claims that 'making Tropicana orange juice is truly art,' it is far more a science," the lawsuit alleges.

If the class action moves forward, the lawsuit would represent anyone in the nation who had bought Tropicana Pure Premium, which is made by Tropicana Products, a division of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc.

They allege that advertising claims are misleading and that Tropicana Products has violated consumer fraud statutes in various states, including California's false-misleading advertising law.

Lawyers have also made their claim under California's Legal Remedies Act and the Unfair Competition Law.

The lawsuit cites the packaging of the Pure Premium brand, "an illustration of an orange with a straw stuck into it, which is meant to convey the message that [not-from-concentrate] juice is fresh from the orange. This reinforces the '100 percent Pure and Natural Orange Juice' claim in large prominent type."

"It is not natural orange juice," according to the complaint. "It is instead a product that is scientifically engineered in laboratories, not nature, which explains its shelf-life of more than two months."

Tropicana spokesman Michael Torres would not address allegations of false advertising, but instead provided a written statement to ABC News.

"Our juice is safe, nutritious and Tropicana remains committed to offering great-tasting 100 percent orange juice with no added sugars or preservatives," Torres wrote. "We take the faith that consumers place in our products seriously and are committed to full compliance with labeling laws and regulations."

Tropicana holds about 40 percent of the market share of all orange juice sold each year and had worldwide retail sales of about $5 billion in 2010, according to the lawsuit.

On its website, Tropicana said each 59-ounce container of Pure Premium has "16 fresh-picked oranges squeezed into it."

"Angelina purchased Tropicana for her family based on the representation Tropicana made on its product label," Lewis' lawyer, Sarah N. Westcot, said. "I think they know people have a preference for natural products and capitalize on that. ... She wouldn't have bought the product if she knew what went in to making the juice."

Under California law involving class action suits, the litigants are seeking an aggregate of at least $5 million, she said.

Tropicana has 21 days to file their response.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of news that trace amounts of the fungicide carbendazim was recently found in some Minute Maid orange juice made by Coca Cola and juices of some of its competitors.

The juices in question were made of oranges imported from Brazil, where that fungicide is legal, and Coca Cola alerted the FDA of the trees had been sprayed with the chemical.

The FDA found no chemicals in Tropicana brands and the company has subsequently said it will use only Florida oranges going forward.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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