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Editorial: Ruined diet a poor lawsuit

According to an article published Sunday in The Tampa Tribune, a New York woman is suing a snack food company for $50 million claiming she suffered “mental anguish” after learning a food she was eating had been mislabeled. This is an absurd lawsuit and a ridiculous amount of money to seek. If anything, all this woman should get is a lifetime supply of properly labeled food or a refund of her money.

According to the article, Meredith Berkman says her diet was ruined because the label on Pirate’s Booty corn and rice puffs contained more than three times the amount of fat than advertised on the label.

Undoubtedly, the 8.5 grams of fat instead of the 2.5 grams advertised horribly caused her diet to spiral out of control. In her own words, Berkman says the Good Housekeeping Institute’s discovery caused “weight gain … mental anguish, outrage and indignation.” From a difference of six grams of fat? Highly dubious.

However, Berkman is trying to cash in on a simple mistake that most people probably didn’t even notice or care about. It’s not so much offensive that she filed the lawsuit, but the fact that Berkman truly thinks she’s entitled to $50 million is ridiculous. She certainly couldn’t have bought that many products, so how could a ruined diet possibly be worth anywhere near such a large amount?

People like Berkman must be stopped. They make a mockery of the judicial system and exploit businesses that make small, insignificant mistakes. It is unlikely Pirate’s Booty’s manufacturer, Robert’s American Gourmet Food Inc., purposely set out to mislabel its products, and $50 million is an absurd amount to pay for a discrepancy caused by a simple machine malfunction.

Berkman deserves only what she paid for her rice and corn puffs. If Pirate’s Booty wanted, it could pay for a specialized exercise or diet program, but Berkman should not receive undeserved compensation.