Trader Joe’s Agrees to $1.3 Million Settlement in Tuna Can Suit

On September 14, 2018, the proposed class in a suit against Trader Joe’s asked the United States District Court for the Central District of California to give preliminary approval to a $1.3 million settlement. The proposed class action alleged the grocery store chain under-filled five-ounce cans of tuna, and class members say the payout, which comes to $29 per claim, is adequate and fair when compared to the price of the cans of tuna.

Named class member, Amy Joseph, filed a lawsuit in February 2016, accusing Trader Joe’s of breach of warranty, fraud, and other claims for not filling its cans of tuna to the FDA-prescribed weight. The action was one of many in California, Illinois, and New York in early 2016 accusing the grocery store of failing to meet federal fill standards.

The suits were consolidated in November 2016 and plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in June 2017. Trader Joe’s unsuccessfully filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint, claiming the pressed weight standard was outdated and more difficult to understand and apply than the drained-weight standard of its cans of tuna.

Plaintiffs are pleased with the “excellent result” of the $1.3 million settlement, which constitutes a significant portion of the recovery the class could reasonably have expected had they prevailed at trial. The proposed class deemed the settlement was appropriate, considering the time and costs associated with trial, and has requested provisional certification in order to administer the settlement.

The legal team at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP (“SFMS”) has significant experience litigating class action and consumer protection matters. If you have any questions regarding this subject or this posting, please contact Nick Lussier ( or Chiharu Sekino ( We can also be reached toll-free at (866) 540-5505.

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Curley, Mike. “Trader Joe’s Settles Underfilled Tuna Can Suit For $1.3M.” Law 360. Last modified on September 17, 2018.

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