A man who bought $15 worth of Godiva chocolates says the company should give him $74,000 because they falsely claimed the sweets were made in Belgium.
Kevin Fahey, of Virginia, argued in a lawsuit filed in D.C. this week that Godiva commits "massive fraud" by suggesting on product labeling and their website that their products are Belgian. News4's Scott MacFarlane broke the story on Twitter.
"Members of the DC general public are paying a premium for what they believe are products of a country with a reputation for premier chocolate, whereas the product is made in the United States, and in a different manner as a result," the civil suit says.
U.S. & World
Founded in Brussels in 1926, Godiva operates factories in Belgium and Reading, Pennsylvania, according to its website.
Godiva declined to comment on the lawsuit but described Belgium as being part of its branding, not necessarily its description of where all products are made.
"It is important to emphasize that ‘Belgium 1926’ signifies the place and year of the company’s founding. It does not imply that a product purchased today was made in Belgium nearly one hundred years ago," the company said in a statement.
"Our Belgian heritage is synonymous with our brand as the recipes and standards of excellence established by GODIVA in 1926 remain the foundation for premium chocolate products that we continue to develop and produce globally today," they continued.
Fahey said the chocolatier violates D.C. consumer protection laws. He compared the right for correct information about one's chocolate to rights ensured by the Fair Housing Act.
Earlier this year, Godiva faced a similar lawsuit in California, for a whopping $5 million in damages. That suit was dismissed, court records show.
A court date is set for August 23.