MARLTON, N.J., March 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The plaintiffs in 11 consolidated nationwide class actions consolidated in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas as In Re: Whole Foods Market, Inc. Greek Yogurt and Sales Practices Litigation Case No. 14-MC-2588-SS, all of which allege that "Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Plain Greek Yogurt" contained 6 times more sugar than what was stated on the product label, have filed papers in federal court today, asking the court to sanction Whole Foods for destroying what the motion calls the most crucial evidence in the case. Specifically, these plaintiffs claim that they recently learned that Whole Foods had secretly destroyed its entire stock pile of the yogurt---hundreds of thousands of containers---, after promising both the plaintiffs and the court that it would preserve enough samples of the yogurt for testing in the litigation. According to the plaintiffs, the destruction of the yogurt jeopardizes the plaintiffs' ability to prove their case in court, because there is no longer enough yogurt left to adequately test the sugar content of the yogurt according to FDA standards. The motion asks the court where the 11 class actions were consolidated, including cases from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, to impose sanctions on Whole Foods for violating a well-established legal duty to preserve evidence in its custody. The requested sanctions include barring Whole Foods from challenging the results of prior tests performed on the yogurt by plaintiffs' experts and requiring Whole Foods to pay for an investigation into exactly how, when and why the yogurt was destroyed and why no samples were kept.
Speaking on behalf of the plaintiffs in all 11 class actions, Plaintiff's attorney Stephen DeNittis of Marlton, New Jersey, stated:
"We were frankly dumbfounded when we learned of this. I have encountered cases where someone erased a few emails, or one or two documents go missing, but I have never seen a situation where we were suddenly told that an entire product line---hundreds of thousands of containers---has somehow mysteriously disappeared off the planet. Its extremely worrying, especially after Whole Foods had repeatedly assured us for many months that the yogurt was being preserved. I had expected better from a company like Whole Foods, which holds itself out to the public as being concerned with more than just its bottom line."
SOURCE DeNittis Osefchen, P.C.