United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
KATRINA TARZIAN and SENIA HARDWICK, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
KRAFT HEINZ FOODS COMPANY, Defendant.
Charles P. Kocoras United States District Judge.
the Court is Defendant Kraft Heinz Foods Company's
(“Kraft”) motion to dismiss Plaintiffs Katrina
Tarzian and Senia Hardwicks' (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) class-action complaint under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following
reasons, the Court grants the motion.
purposes of this motion, the Court accepts as true the
following facts from the amended complaint. Murphy v.
Walker, 51 F.3d 714, 717 (7th Cir. 1995). All reasonable
inferences are drawn in Plaintiffs' favor. Tamayo v.
Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008).
is a limited-liability company organized under the laws of
Pennsylvania with its principal places of business in
Pittsburg and Chicago. It is a large-scale food manufacturer
that markets to all states, including Illinois and New York.
Kraft produces “Capri Sun” beverages in a wide
variety of flavors. Plaintiff Katrina Tarzian
(“Tarzian”) is an Illinois citizen and a resident
of Cook County. Plaintiff Senia Hardwick
(“Hardwick”) is a citizen of New York State and a
resident of Queens County. Plaintiffs Tarzian and Hardwick
both purchased 10-packs of Capri Sun beverages bearing a
label stating the products contain “no artificial
preservatives.” Plaintiffs allege these claims are
“deceptive and misleading, ” as Capri Sun
beverages contain citric acid, a preservative alleged to be
artificially produced on an industrial scale.
Plaintiffs allege that citric acid can be produced in several
ways. Until the early 1900s, citric acid was mainly produced
by extraction from fresh fruits, such as lemons and limes. In
1917, researcher James Currie discovered that citric acid
could be produced by “cultivating Aspergillus Niger and
allowing it to metabolize sucrose or glucose to yield citric
acid.” Plaintiffs do not specifically allege that Kraft
uses citric acid produced through Aspergillus Niger
fermentation; rather, they allege that it is more
economically viable to produce citric acid for industrial use
through this fermentation process. They further allege that
Capri Sun contains industrially produced citric acid.
result of Kraft's allegedly misleading labeling,
Plaintiffs allege that they sustained an injury by being
denied the benefit of their bargain. They assert that they
would not have purchased the Capri Sun beverages had they
known that the drinks contained citric acid.
on these allegations, Plaintiffs filed their first amended
class action complaint on March 03, 2019. Count I asserts
violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive
Business Practices Act (“ICFA”) and seeks
monetary damages and injunctive relief on behalf of a
nationwide class (“nonresident
Plaintiffs”). 805 ILCS §§ 505/1 et seq. Count
II asserts violations of New York's Deceptive and Unfair
Trade Practices Act and seeks injunctive relief on behalf of
a New York class under New York's General Business Law
(“NY GBL”) § 349. Count III asserts
violations of New York's False Advertising Law and seeks
monetary damages on behalf of the New York class and
Plaintiff Hardwick. On March 21, 2019, Defendants moved to
dismiss all three counts under Federal Rule of Civil
motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) “tests the sufficiency of the complaint, not
the merits of the case.” McReynolds v. Merrill
Lynch & Co., 694 F.3d 873, 878 (7th Cir. 2012). The
allegations in the complaint must set forth a “short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Plaintiffs
need not provide detailed factual allegations but must
provide enough factual support to raise their right to relief
above a speculative level. Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
must be facially plausible, meaning that the pleadings must
“allow . . . the court to draw the reasonable inference
that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). A complaint that contains factual allegations that
are “merely consistent with a defendant's liability
. . . stops short of the line between possibility and
plausibility of entitlement to relief.” Id. at
677 (internal quotations omitted). The claim must be
described “in sufficient detail to give the defendant
‘fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds
upon which it rests.'” E.E.O.C. v. Concentra
Health Servs., Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007)
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, ” are
insufficient to withstand a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
“must state with particularity the circumstances
constituting fraud.” Fed. R. Civ.P. 9(b). That fraud
must be pled with particularity “ensures that
plaintiffs do their homework before filing suit and protects
defendants from baseless suits that tarnish
reputations.” Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corp. Retiree
Med. Ben. Trust v. Walgreen Co., 631 F.3d 436, 439 (7th
Cir. 2011). The requirement is not rigid, and what must be
alleged will vary depending on the facts of the case.
Id. at 442. The heightened pleading standard applies
to all allegations of fraud (such as a misrepresentation),
not merely claims labeled fraud. Id. at 447.
urges the Court to dismiss Plaintiffs' class-action
complaint for three reasons. First, Kraft argues that the
ICFA does not apply to Plaintiffs injured outside of
Illinois. Second, Kraft argues Plaintiffs lack standing to
seek injunctive relief for their claims. Third, Kraft argues
Plaintiffs have ...