StarKist Co. has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit filed by plaintiff Patrick Hendricks recently. The settlement was reached at the United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division and it involves a whole lot of tuna.
Under the settlement, StarKist Co. has agreed to a total financial commitment of $8 million in cash and $4 million in vouchers for a host of StarKist branded products, bringing the total to $12 million. This means that as a class member, a customer has a choice between a cash payment amounting to $25 or a voucher payment with a value of $50 that can be used to redeem an assortment of StarKist tuna products.
Customers who can file a claim for the said settlement are those purchased one or more StarKist products between the dates of February 12, 2009 and October 31, 2014. Moreover, a customer is said to be a class member of the settlement so long as one or more of certain StarKist products was purchased on the stated dates. This include 5 oz. cans of Chunk Light Tuna in Water, Chunk Light Tuna in Oil, Solid White Tuna in Water and Solid White Tuna in Oil.
Back in February 2013, a class action complaint was filed against StarKist Co. by Hendricks as the latter claimed that certain tuna products of StarKist were “underfilled and thus substantially underweight.” Furthermore, independent testing done on the allegedly underfilled products revealed that the stated 5 oz. tuna cans only contained 2.35 ounces of pressed caked tuna in the StarKist Chunk Light Tuna in Water, 3.01 ounces in the StarKist Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water, 3.11 ounces in the StarKist Solid White Albacore Tuna in Vegetable Oil and only 2.81 ounces in StarKist Chunk Light Tuna in Vegetable Oil. All of these canned products are reported to be below the federally mandated minimum standard of fill.
StarKist Co. continues to deny these allegations. Nonetheless, the company has decided to settle in order to do away with further “expense, inconvenience and burden.”