A New York judge has denied class certification in a lawsuit filed against Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc., maker of the Skinnygirl Margarita. The accusation in the proposed class action suit is that the Skinnygirl Margarita is falsely advertised as being “all natural”.
In order to qualify as a class, certain criteria must be met. Generally, class certification requires the following four elements:
(1) the class is so numerous that treating each individually is impracticable (numerosity);
(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class (commonality);
(3) the claims or defenses of the class representatives are typical of those of the class (typicality);
(4) the class representatives will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class (adequacy).
The judge found that the class representative failed to demonstrate reliance on the “all natural” advertising in making a purchase decision. The class representative in this suit is a man, who testified in deposition that he bought the Skinnygirl Margarita product to “appease his wife” and that he would have bought the product regardless of its price as a result. This combination of facts caused him to fail the typicality criteria cited above, as the judge found that this man does not adequately represent a class of “skinny girls”.