Why A Customer Is Suing Trader Joe's Over Cold-Pressed Juice

As is the case with most large businesses, Trader Joe's has faced its share of scandals over the years, including several lawsuits. For instance, this past December, two employees in Atlanta sued the grocery chain, claiming racial discrimination in the form of unfair working conditions, high levels of scrutiny, and verbal abuse (via Patch). Even after switching to a different Trader Joe's location in southern California, the employees say the discrimination continued.

Just months earlier, another Trader Joe's employee in Philadelphia sued for racial discrimination and harassment. He allegedly received different treatment than his white coworkers when it came to pay bonuses, reports Philadelphia Magazine, and when he brought his concerns to human resources, he said they were brushed aside.

Around this same time, reports came out that several Trader Joe's products contained dangerous amounts of lead. This news led to a major lawsuit, as some products had more than double an adult's daily limit of lead (via Business Insider). Now, not even five months later, Trader Joe's faces yet another charge of labeling misconduct. 

Looks (and labels) can be deceiving

Although many of us know product labels can be misleading, it can be hard to understand just how difficult it can be to decode this marketing-minded language. On April 7, a disgruntled Trader Joe's customer in Illinois filed a lawsuit in regard to a deceptive juice label.

According to Top Class Actions, the juice in question was labeled as being "cold-pressed," leading customers to believe no preservatives or other ingredients were added after the juice was extracted. Furthermore, this particular juice is stocked near the fresh produce, giving the impression the juice, too, is fresh.

Upon further examination, the label does say in very fine print that the juice is processed following extraction. However, the customer who filed the suit says this is at odds with the much more noticeable label declaring the juice to be cold-pressed. She also claims the juice is sold at a higher price than similar products, and therefore is a case of consumer fraud as well. Per Top Class Actions, the woman is "seeking certification of the class action, an injunction, fees, costs, damages and a jury trial," but we'll still have to wait and see how Trader Joe's reacts.