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Lawsuit Accusing Whole Foods of Overcharging Is Thrown Out

A federal judge in Manhattan threw out a lawsuit accusing Whole Foods of overcharging for prepackaged cheeses and cupcakes, pronouncing a New York City investigation accusing the grocery store of overstating food weight isn’t sufficient proof the plaintiff were ripped off.

The proposed class-motion lawsuit became filed with the aid of Sean John, who said he bought prepackaged cupcakes and cheese with mislabeled weights at the grocery store’s Bowery and Chelsea shops in Manhattan in 2014 and 2015. Mr. John filed his lawsuit a month after New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs stated Whole Foods shops had overcharged for products including meat, dairy and baked goods.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer said Mr. John had based his claims completely on the investigation.

“John did not claim ever to have weighed any cupcake or cheese that he had bought, to have direct proof of any type that any product he had sold were short-weight, or maybe to have retained facts of his purchases,” Judge Engelmayer wrote.

A spokeswoman for Whole Foods, which is a unit of Amazon.Com Inc., and a legal professional for Mr. John didn’t respond to requests for comment.

About six months after the metropolis investigation, Whole Foods and the branch entered into a settlement, with the grocer agreeing to pay $500,000 and conduct audits of as a minimum 50 merchandise to make sure they had been correctly weighed and categorized.

Whole Foods didn’t admit wrongdoing.

In 2016, the U.S. District Court threw out Mr. John’s healthy, and the following yr, a federal appeals court reversed that choice. The panel stated the district court choose should allow for gathering evidence.

In his ruling, Judge Engelmayer mentioned Mr. John’s purchases—vegan and chocolate cupcakes; cheddar, Parmesan, goat, mozzarella, brie, blue and truffle cheeses—and the Department of Consumer Affairs’s technique.

The choose wrote that the investigators didn’t find brief-weighted chocolate cupcakes or cheeses at both the Bowery or Chelsea stores in which Mr. John shopped.

The decide mentioned that six of seven cheeses discovered to be short-weighted at different stores, consisting of Gouda Parrano and Swiss Raclette, weren’t on Mr. John’s purchasing list.

“The salient factor is that this: The proof from DCA falls some distance from supporting an inference that any of John’s purchases were quick-weight and overpriced,” Judge Engelmayer wrote.

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