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Stonefire Naan $1.9 Million False Ad Settlement Gets Final Nod

Feb. 17, 2021, 2:51 PM

Stonefire Naan maker FGF Brands Inc. and consumers alleging it duped them into thinking mass-produced breads are hand-baked in traditional tandoor ovens won an Illinois federal court’s final approval for a $1.9 million class settlement.

The deal, which provides class members $2.50 for each product purchased, is fair, reasonable, and adequate, Judge Robert W. Gettleman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois said Tuesday.

Emily Friend alleged FGF Brands, a Canadian company, and its American unit FGF USA Brands Inc. tout their products as “hand-stretched and tandoor oven-baked to honor 2,000 years of tradition.”

But rather than being baked in a traditional tandoor oven, which is operated over a wood- or charcoal-burning fire and can accommodate only one or two pieces of naan at a time, Stonefire bread is produced on an “endless” conveyor belt that rotates through a gas-heated commercial oven capable of baking 15,000 pieces an hour, she alleged.

The nationwide class covers purchasers who bought affected Stonefire products between Nov. 16, 2013, and Oct. 23, 2020.

The court also approved the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ request for approximately $650,000 in fees and costs, and a $7,500 service award to Friend.

Gettleman denied the company’s motion to dismiss the suit in 2019. But he said Friend, who’d become aware of the alleged deception, lacked standing to pursue injunctive relief such as marketing changes because she wouldn’t be fooled in the future, a requirement for such relief.

The deal was preliminarily approved in October 2020.

Carlson Lynch LLP and Gordon Law Offices represented the plaintiffs. Kirkland & Ellis LLP represented FGF Brands.

The case is Friend v. FGF Brands (USA), Inc., N.D. Ill., No. 1:18-cv-07644, 2/16/21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Steinberg in Washington at jsteinberg@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Patrick L. Gregory at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com

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