Tito’s vodka lawsuit over ‘handmade’ settled

23rd March, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers

A US consumer is to settle a lawsuit against Tito’s Handmade Vodka, after arguing that the brand “deceived” drinkers into believing it is handmade.

TIto's Vodka

A consumer believes that Tito’s Handmade Vodka deceives consumers into believing it is a handmade product

Trevor Singleton first sought to bring a bring a class action against brand owner Fifth Generation in 2015, stating that the Texas vodka’s production process was “highly automated”.

According to Law360, he claimed that the company’s labels and advertisements “deceived consumers into paying premium prices for what they thought was a handmade product”.

Singleton said Tito’s misled consumers by proposing that it is handmade and crafted in an old-fashioned pot still. He added that the company charges a higher price due to “better quality associated with handmade products”.

The vodka is actually made in “massive buildings containing 10 floor-to-ceiling stills and bottling 500 cases an hour” with little to no human involvement, according to Singleton.

US district judge Brenda K. Sannes refused to throw out the proposed class action in 2016, claiming Tito’s could lead consumers to believe the product is created in small batches.

Singleton pursued to represent a class made up of anyone who bought Tito’s vodka from 12 April 2012 through to the present day.

However, Sannes rejected Singleton’s bid for class certification in September last year, stating that he had failed to show that common issues predominated over individual ones.

She added that Singleton could also not lead a class seeking injunctive relief because he had not purchased vodka since 2015.

Law360 now reports that the parties “have settled or are settling the case” at a New York federal court. The amount of the settlement has not been disclosed.

The Spirits Business has contacted Tito’s Handmade Vodka for comment.

In September 2015, Florida-based US district judge Robert Hinkle ruled largely in favour of Fifth Generation, dismissing five out of six lawsuits against Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

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