Canada Dry Settles for $200k After Man Sues Over Lack of 'Real Ginger'

Victor Cardoso said he spent years buying the ginger ale, believing it had "medicinal benefits."
Manisha Krishnan
Toronto, Canada
October 29, 2020, 7:13pm
Canada Dry Ginger Ale lawsuit
Canada Dry has settled after being sued by a man who believed the pop drink was medicinal. Photo by author

A Vancouver man who launched a class-action lawsuit against Canada Dry Ginger Ale over its lack of real ginger is walking away with $1,500 after the company agreed to settle. 

Victor Cardoso launched the class action against Canada Dry Mott's Inc. in January 2019 on behalf of “all Canadian resident persons who purchased any Canada Dry Ginger Ale product marketed as ‘Made from Real Ginger,’” claiming the marketing slogan amounted to false advertising. Simultaneous suits were launched in Alberta and Quebec, and similar suits have been launched in the U.S.

Cardoso, in part, felt misled by a marketing campaign that “depicted ginger root being picked out of the ground and bottles of ginger ale being attached to the ginger root,” according to court documents. 

In February, both parties agreed to settle for $218,000, on the conditions that the Alberta class-action suit is dropped and Canada Dry is not required to change its marketing or labelling. 

In a Supreme Court of B.C. decision issued last week, a judge ruled that Cardoso and a representative plaintiff from Alberta will each receive $1,500 honorariums. The rest of the money will go towards legal fees and the B.C. Law Foundation. Cardoso had agreed to his lawyers’ fees of $950 an hour. 

Cardoso had spent 10 years buying Canada Dry Ginger Ale for stomach issues, after his doctor recommended the pop drink. He believed it had “medicinal benefits.” 

During the proceedings, an expert report found that Canada Dry does in fact contain a trace amount of processed ginger root. 

“It certainly seemed that the defendant was trying to use the halo of health benefits associated with real ginger but to the plaintiffs (sic) knowledge the defendant never went so far as to expressly make this claim,” said an affidavit signed by one of the lawyers trying Cardoso’s lawsuit. 

As part of its settlement agreements stemming from U.S. lawsuits, Canada Dry has agreed to no longer claim to be “made from real ginger.” 

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