Hershey’s, purveyor of some of the finest chocolates and candies, brings goodness to the world. The only times they don’t are when they’re fighting a lawsuit or filing one against an imitator. Some of these suits are pretty serious, while others involve the unauthorized use of a Las Vegas street entertainer’s image for a chocolate syrup ad.
The Hershey Company has, in fact, been involved in numerous lawsuits that are sometimes hilarious, and at other times befuddling. Here are some.
When a sweet-toothed man sued them for slack-filled Whoppers and Reese’s Pieces packs
Missouri man Robert Bratton loves his Whoppers and Reese’s Pieces. But like many great loves, the kind he had for the sweets wasn’t without its limits.
In 2017, he decided he would no longer suffer the injustice of purchasing a 5-ounce box of Whoppers that’s 41% air and a 4-ounce box of Reese’s Pieces that’s missing 29% of its contents.
He accused Hershey’s of imposing suffering upon Whopper and Reese’s lovers with “unjust enrichment” and “ascertainable loss.” He called the practice "misleading, deceptive, and unlawful.”
He did what every man passionate about malted milk balls and peanut butter cups would do — he filed a class action lawsuit worth $5 million against the company for their unpardonable deception.
The candy company filed a motion to dismiss and stated that “a reasonable consumer, upon picking up the Reese's Pieces or Whoppers container, would instantly realize that it is not filled to the brim.”
We won’t go into details of how Hershey’s defended its creative packaging decisions, or what formula Mr. Bratton used to calculate the candy-to-air ratio. Suffice to say, the court sided with Hershey’s and awarded Mr. Bratton with neither $5 million nor a pack of Kisses in damages.
Cannabis or candy?
There are probably hundreds of varieties of Hershey candies, but to the rest of the world, there’s only one Hershey’s. It’s the one that makes delectable treats for sweet-toothed kids and adults worldwide, NOT the one that makes weed-flavored eats.
In 2014, the billion-dollar chocolate corporation sued Colorado-based Tincturebelle, makers of cannabis-infused candies called Ganja Joy, for aping the packaging of Hershey’s Almond Joy.
In another clash with a cannabis confectioner, Hershey’s sued Conscious Care Collective, which was supposedly parodying Hershey’s products. According to Conscious Care’s attorney, however, the company is only a reseller and is therefore not liable for the Reefer’s Cup and Kush Cup line of products’ branding.
It didn’t take much for both ganja makers to capitulate. Ganja Joy now comes in a new and improved package, so unsuspecting kids and adults are no longer at risk of picking up hash-infused candies that they thought was just a pack of coconut-based chocolate with almonds. And no one will mistake Reefer’s Cups for Reese’s Cups ever again.
Clearly, it’s high time cannabis candymakers come up with new names and packaging.
The bitter twist in eating Twizzlers Black Licorice Twists
If you ate candy continuously for years, it’s safe to assume that your health won’t be so great — no matter what sugary treats you habitually gobble down.
73-year-old David Goldberg from Manhattan missed this medical memo. As a result of eating one standard-size bag of Black Licorice-flavored Twizzlers per week for years and years, he developed a heart condition.
He brought suit against Hershey’s for undisclosed damages, claiming they never warned that black licorice candies pose a health risk. To support his claims, Mr. Goldberg stated in his suit that he is a healthy, non-obese individual.
One can’t help but think, has his abnormal consumption of Twizzlers never come up with his dietician or cardiologist? Did he perhaps understate his unreasonable consumption of the candy?
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned of the dangers of glycyrrhizin, an ingredient in black licorice that can aggravate heart conditions of over-40 adults. It sounds as dangerous as it is difficult to spell.
Ever felt soured by a pack of sweets? Found any strange inedibles in your pack of M&M’s lately? It’s unlikely that our Renton attorneys will take in clients who want to bring down powerhouse candymakers. But for legitimate personal injury cases, Buckingham, LaGrandeur & Williams will give you a sweet deal.