(AP) A judge on Thursday ruled that a case challenging the claims on popular Vitaminwater drinks as misleading can move forward as a class-action lawsuit.
Attorneys representing the health-advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest and consumers from California and New York have accused Coca-Cola Co. of using deceptive labeling on Vitaminwater beverages, including claims that they reduce risks of disease and boost the immune system.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Levy said in a ruling in New York that the lawsuit can proceed as a class-action lawsuit. The plaintiffs can seek injunctive relief, which would prevent Coca-Cola from making certain claims for the product. The judge said the parties cannot seek financial damages.
In 2010, a judge denied Coca-Cola's attempts to have the lawsuit dismissed on technical grounds. At that time, Judge John Gleeson said Vitaminwater's use of the word "healthy" violates Food and Drug Administration labeling rules. In a 55-page opinion, Gleeson also took issue with Vitaminwater's name, which fails to identify sugar as a key ingredient in the drink, though it is listed in nutrition information on the bottles.