Fireball “Whiskey” Consumers Institute Class Action Lawsuit for Fraud and Deceptive Practices
New Orleans, Louisiana – January 27,2023 – Sazerac Company, a New Orleans, LA based beverage company is being sued in U.S. Federal Court for fraud and deceptive practices. The lawsuit filed on behalf of consumers as a class-action concerns the popular affordable Fireball Cinnamon Whisky brand.
Anna Marquez filed a Class Action Complaint in the United States District Court Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division against Sazerac Company concerning what she contends is deceptive marketing and fraudulent misleading labeling of Fireball. Using photographs as part of the filing. The Complaint with case number 1:23-cv-00097 revolves around mini bottles of Fireball with nearly identical labels as authentic Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. It was filed on behalf of Anna Marquez and the Class by /s/ Spencer Sheehan Sheehan & Associates, P.C. 60 Cuttermill Rd Ste 412 Great Neck NY 11021.
Ms. Marquez notes that the label on the min-bottles is purposefully and willfully deceptive. She notes that over the last few years the makers of Fireball have been marketing a knockoff product with a label that would lead only the discerning fine print reader to understand that the .99cent mini bottles are not Fireball Cinnamon Whisky but rather a flavored malt liquor beverage designed to mimic its namesake.
Point 5 and 6 go to the heart of the case. They read,
”5. Expecting those small bottles labeled “Fireball Cinnamon” to contain whiskey
“[was] an easy mistake to make, and one intended by the manufacturer.”
6. In fact, what consumers were purchasing at non-liquor stores “[was] not whisky at
all” even though “the[ir] labels are almost identical.”
Point 7 of the officially filed complaint notes, “When consumers “look closer [they] will see that it is actually called simply” Fireball Cinnamon (notice there’s no Whisky after the word Cinnamon) [which] is a malt beverage” flavored to taste like its cinnamon whisky (the “Product”).
The filed complaint continues to succinctly lay out the case that Szaerac Company. Point 8 goes to the heart of the differences between a distilled beverage and malt liquor. Along with deceiving consumers Ms. Marquez includes the harm that retailers have incurred from the company marketing counterfeit Fireball as authentic. Retailers feel that they have misplaced their trust in Sazerac Company. They stock and sell the leading premium brands of bourbons of this 400 year old company and are now burned by its marketing scheme of deceiving consumers and affecting their businesses.
In point 4 of the filing, she notes: Liquor stores reported a decline in sales of Fireball cinnamon whisky, confirmed by their customers who told them they preferred to purchase it for lower prices elsewhere.
The retailers are suffering because the average person who does not examine the details of the labels cannot readily discern the difference in the two products.
The counterfeited malt liquor branded Fireball and the original whisky branded Fireball both are labeled almost identically except for the small print. Both brands feature the same colors, same devil logo, same font and same red cap. The knockoff Fireball and the authentic Fireball prominently display the words Cinnamon Whisky. It is left to the consumer to do a deep dive into the small print on the mini-bottles to discover that they are not buying whiskey at all but rather flavored malt-liquor.
In her filing Anna Marquez notes that even the discerning consumer will need to carefully mince the words on the label as the fraud and practiced deception by the makers of Fireball was calculated. Point 13-16 of the official court filing spells it out precisely.
“13. Using the words “With Natural Whisky & Other Flavors” is a clever turn of phrase
because consumers who strain to read this will see how it “Natural Whisky” is distinct from “Other
14. They will think the Product is a malt beverage with added (1) natural whisky and (2)
15. What the label means to say is that the Product contains “Natural Whisky Flavors &
Other Flavors,” but by not including the word “Flavors” after “Natural Whisky,” purchasers who
look closely will expect the distilled spirit of whisky was added as a separate ingredient.
16. However, even where a distilled spirit is used to manufacture flavors, it loses its class
and type when blended with other ingredients.
17. When viewed together with the Fireball distilled spirit brand name, the label misleads
consumers into believing it is or contains distilled spirits”
Fireball Cinnamon flavored min-bottles has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 16.5%. The authentic Fireball Cinnamon Whisky is 33%.ABV. The Fireball slogan is, “Tastes Like Heaven. Burns like Hell” may have a double meaning for the consumers who were burned buying counterfeit Fireball and retailers who sell the premium brands of Sazerac Company
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Written by: Daniel Dachille – Staff Writer for SafeProof.org