Unmitigated Chutzpah: The CSPI's Merchantability Claim Against Safeway

Ken Odza posted about some general issues related to the Center for Science in the Public Interest's claims against Safeway related to the decision not to use its Club Card data to publicize recalls. Hidden among the claims, however, is a claim for breach of the warranty of merchantability that is so breathtakingly extensive it requires a separate post.

The breadth of this claim is astounding.  To see why, you must understand two things.  First, this is a class action. CPSI and its lawyers seek to represent "All Customers who bought Recalled Products, and whom Safeway did not advise that they bought Recalled Products, for a period of four years prior to the date this complaint is filed until the date of class certification." "Recalled Products" are those subject to a Class I recall from the FDA or the USDA. I presume the four years states the applicable statute of limitations. If the class were certified, these lawyers would represent everyone in the class. 

Second, the count of the complaint that deals with the warranty of merchantability has nothing to do with the requested relief that has garnered so much publicity. It is unrelated entirely to the use of the Club Card to notify customers about recalls. It is a straight breach of contract action. Put simply, these lawyers purport to represent every single person who had a Safeway Club Card, for the value of their Recalled Products. The complaint expressly makes no claim for any injury other than the economic injury of a breach of contract; no one is alleged to have gotten sick, let alone died. Indeed, one of the named plaintiffs consumed some of the eggs subject to recall, apparently without adverse health effects.

Read the entire article at the Food Liability Law Blog

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