Consumer Law

Deadline looms for beer and tuna refund bonanza in major class-action settlements

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There may not be a free lunch, but a beer and tuna bonanza awaits savvy consumers who apply in time for refunds in class-action settlements.

Under a $20 million settlement with Anheuser-Busch Companies LLC that was OK’d by a federal judge in Miami, Florida, this week, consumers who can prove they purchased Beck’s beer between May 1, 2011 and June 23, 2015 can get a refund of as much as $50, reports the Miami New Times.

Those who can’t prove their purchase can get $12. Applications for refunds may be made via a class-action web page, which sets a November 20 deadline for doing so.

The Chicago Tribune (reg. req) and National Public Radio also have stories.

November 20 is the deadline as well for consumers to apply for a refund of up to $50 for Starkist tuna. Proof of purchase is not required.

Before 2012, Beck’s beer was actually brewed abroad. But when the company shifted production to the U.S., the labeling became confusing, lead plaintiff Francisco Rene Marty alleged in his 2013 suit.

While the labeling does say “Product of USA,” some portions seemed to indicate that Beck’s was a foreign beer, according to the suit. They called the beer “imported” and said Beck’s is brewed under Germany’s beer purity law of 1516.

The issue for Starkist was whether the proportion of tuna and water in its cans satisfied U.S. weight standards.

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