Houston, Texas (September 13, 2017) – Riviana Foods Inc. announced today that a federal court in New York dismissed baseless consumer fraud claims against the company, finding that the arguments put forward by the plaintiff were not those of a “reasonable consumer”.
The plaintiff in Stewart v. Riviana Foods Inc., sued Riviana on August 3, 2016, contending that she believed boxes of Riviana’s Ronzoni® Smart Taste®, Healthy Harvest®, Garden Delight®, SuperGreens®, and Gluten Free®pasta would contain 16 ounces of pasta, even though the boxes clearly showed contents weighing 12 ounces. The plaintiff said she came to this belief because other, similarly-sized Ronzoni®pasta boxes contain 16 ounces of pasta, and say so.
Judge Nelson Román of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the plaintiff’s claims in an opinion issued on September 11, 2017. The Court agreed with Riviana that for the plaintiff to “expect to receive 16 ounces of healthy pasta solely because she has purchased different Ronzoni pasta products in similarly-sized boxes, is not reasonable.”
Bastiaan de Zeeuw, Riviana’s President and CEO, was pleased with the outcome of the case and said “Riviana will always vigorously defend itself against baseless lawsuits like this one.”
The case is Melissa Stewart v. Riviana Foods Inc., No. 16-CV-6157, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Riviana was represented in the case by Jeffrey S. Jacobson, Lauri A. Mazzuchetti, and Paul Rosenthal of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.
Riviana Foods Inc. is North America’s largest processor, marketer and distributor of branded and private label rice products and its second largest pasta manufacturer. The Riviana family of well-known brands includes Minute®, Mahatma®, Success®, Carolina®, Comet®, Adolphus®, Blue Ribbon®, RiceSelect®, Gourmet House®, Ronzoni®, Creamette®, Skinner®, San Giorgio®, Prince®, Catelli®, American Beauty®, No Yolks®, Wacky Mac®and Light & Fluffy®.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Riviana is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ebro Foods, S.A., a leading Spanish food company.