California federal District Judge William H. Orrick granted preliminary approval on a $9.5 million settlement on a class action lawsuit involving Molson Coors’ line of Vizzy Hard Seltzers, according to Brewbound. The case, which addressed health claims on Vizzy’s packaging, was filed by northern California resident Jennifer Marek in 2020.
The suit states that Vizzy’s claims of containing “antioxidant vitamin C from acerola superfruit” are “misleading,” according to Law360. While the product (launched in 2020) does contain acerola cherry, health-related claims that promote the consumption of alcoholic products strongly conflict with Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau (TTB) regulations.
It’s worth noting, however, that Vizzy Hard Seltzers do not contain malt or hops, which technically designates the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — not the TTB — as its overseeing regulatory body. During the suit, Vizzy consistently claimed that it didn’t violate any advertising regulations.
While the case is yet to be finalized, Molson Coors proposed a $9.5 million settlement fund to cover the California suit and two similar claims in Illinois and Florida. Some $2.5 million of those funds will cover attorney fees.
Consumers who purchased Vizzy are entitled to reimbursement with proof of purchase — up to $5 per 24-pack, $3 per 12-pack, and $0.75 per single can. Without a receipt, consumers can receive up to $15 per household. Per the terms of the settlement, Molson Coors will also adjust Vizzy packaging to omit vitamin claims on the front label.
“I think the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, the amount seems like a good result for the class and this was obviously a well-contested case,” Judge Orrick stated.
The settlement is expected to be finalized at the next hearing on May 24.
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