Maureen Stewart and Kelly Lamicella have filed a class action lawsuit against Jim Beam Brands Co, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., SGC Global, LLC., Skinny Girl Cocktails, LLC., and Bethenny Frankel for misleadingly claiming its Skinny Girl Margarita as an "all natural" product that is healthier than other commercially available margarita products available. The class action seeks to represent three classes, a New Jersey Class, and a Pennsylvania class, of purchasers of Skinny Girl Margarita.
The suit accuses the defendants of violating New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, Negligent Misrepresentation, Breach of Express and Implied Warranty, and Unjust Enrichment.
Since May 2011, both Maureen Stewart of Havertown, Pennsylvania, and Kelly Lamicella of Toms River, New Jersey, have routinely purchased Skinny Girl for personal enjoyment and for entertaining friends. Because of Skinny Girl's packaging, both Stewart and Lamicella believed the beverage was all natural and healthier than other commercially available Margarita beverage products.
Jim Beam Brands Co, incorporated in Delaware, is an Illinois based corporation that owns the trademark "Skinnygirl." Bethenny Frankel is a reality television star who promotes Skinny Girl as an all natural product.
In September, 2011, Whole Foods announced they were withdrawing Skinny Girl Margarita products due to the quantities of sodium benzoate found in it. Sodium benzoate is not only an artificial preservative, but when mixed with citrus products, which are commonly used in the making of a margarita, is a carcinogen.
After this announcement, Frankel admitted the product is not all natural, stating she was "not making wheatgrass" and that the product only as "close to nature as possible while still being a shelf-stable product." This admission contradicts the advertising and labeling of the beverage product and reveals the “All Natural” claims and branding to be unlawful.
In addition to damages and restitution, plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to halt defendants' unlawful conduct.