7-Eleven Seeks Dismissal of Potato Chip Case

Retailer says alleged false advertising suit is "unusually meritless"

DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. on Monday asked a judge to throw out a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging that the convenience store chain falsely advertises its potato chips as containing no trans fats or cholesterol, reported legal news agency Law360.

The retailer said that the claims on the packaging are true, that it never deceived Bishop and that he never suffered an economic injury, the report said.

Scott Bishop, the plaintiff, is seeking restitution for consumers who purchased the chips and relied on the allegedly false information, but the company said because its packaging information is true, the lawsuit fails to state an actual claim on which it can proceed.

"A false advertising case--such as this lawsuit purports to be--must be based on an affirmative misrepresentation, or at least a failure to disclose facts that one has a duty to disclose," 7-Eleven said, according to the report. This case "is based on neither."

The chain added that the case is "unusually meritless."

7-Eleven said a reasonable consumer would not be misled into thinking that its potato chips are a health food by a package that contained an accurate nutrition facts label and the true statements "0 Grams Trans Fat/No Cholesterol."

(Federal regulations allow food labels to say there are zero grams of trans fat in a product as long as there is less than half a gram per serving, said the Associated Press.).

The case is Scott Bishop v. 7-Eleven Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Based in Dallas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses approximately 9,400 7-Eleven stores in North America. Globally, there are some 47,300 7-Eleven stores in 16 countries. During 2011, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales close to $76.6 billion.