Nutella settlement is sweet for plaintiffs’ attorneys

Class counsel seeks $4 million in fees and expenses, citing changes to Nutella advertising claims

Nutella may not be good for your waistline—but it’s very good for lawyers’ bank accounts.

Earlier this year, Nutella maker Ferrero agreed to pay $3.05 million to settle a class action lawsuit over its allegedly deceptive marketing of the hazelnut spread. Of that money, $2.5 million will go to consumers who purchased Nutella over the four-year class period, each of whom can claim up to $20 in refunds.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers, however, stand to gain significantly more than that. Reuters reports that the class counsel in the case has filed an application seeking almost $4 million in fees and expenses. This total includes 30 percent of the cash settlement—a fairly standard fee for class action lawyers—and $78,888 in expenses. But the application also includes a claim for an additional $3 million, which Ferrero USA agreed to pay separately from the settlement fund, to cover the non-monetary relief that the lawyers won for class members.

This non-monetary relief came in the form of changes to Nutella’s advertising campaign: Under the terms of the settlement, Ferrero USA agreed to change marketing claims that allegedly painted Nutella as a healthy breakfast food. The class counsel calls this “a significant and highly valuable achievement” that merits significant monetary compensation.

Read more coverage of the settlement at Reuters.

Alanna Byrne

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