A judge has ruled that a class action lawsuit against pasta manufacturer Barilla can proceed.
Plaintiffs Matthew Sinatro and Jessica Prost filed a lawsuit last year, saying the phrase “Italy’s #1 pasta” on Barilla’s packaging leads buyers to believe it is made there.
In reality, Barilla’s headquarters are in Illinois and the pasta in question is produced in Iowa and New York.
The plaintiffs say Italy’s durum wheat is among the best varieties in the world and Barilla’s packaging, which also uses the colors of the Italian flag, suggests it is used in the product.
The lawsuit adds that the company “deliberately lead(s) reasonable consumers … to believe that the products are made in Italy.”
The judge ruled that the pair suffered “economic injury” having paid more than twice the amount for Barilla than for a private label product.
The plaintiffs are challenging the packaging on 50+ Barilla pasta products.
According to the Washington Post, legal experts believe the case could cost the manufacturer millions of dollars.