In Tomasella v. Nestlé, a politically charged case involving three of the United States' most prominent chocolate manufacturers, the First Circuit recently affirmed dismissal of a putative class action against Nestlé USA Inc., Mars, Inc., and the Hershey Company. The plaintiff in that case, Danell Tomasella, alleged that the chocolate manufacturers violated the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act that prohibits unfair or deceptive trade practices (Chapter 93A) by failing to disclose on their packaging that child and slave labor abuses likely exist in their cocoa bean supply chains. The plaintiff also alleged that the chocolate manufacturers were unjustly enriched by such omissions.
As a foreign attorney representing a party whose business dispute is governed by Massachusetts law, you might want to learn about the rights available under the consumer protection statute in Massachusetts, M.G.L. c. 93A. Massachusetts General Laws c. 93A, § 2 (a) makes unlawful any "[u]nfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce." This prohibition is "extended to those engaged in trade or commerce in business transactions with others similarly engaged" by M.G.L. c. 93A, § 11.