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Nellie’s Free Range Eggs Bad Hen Treatment and False Advertising Class Action

In 2014, the complaint for this class action notes, the total value of egg production was ten billion dollars. It’s not unusual that some companies would raise hens in overcrowded and unnatural conditions for a cut of that profit. But this complaint alleges that Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, which purports to treat its hens humanely, is also guilty of hen abuse. 

The class for this action is all individuals in the US who bought Nellie’s Free Range Eggs between March 6, 2016 and March 6, 2019. 

Nellie’s egg cartons show images of a few hens on green grass, or a child holding a chicken in a verdant, outdoor setting with a small number of hens scattered across a green lawn. 

The cartons also suggest that the hens are properly cared for: “We love our hens.” “Better lives for hens means better eggs for you!” “They roam where they please.” “The grass is greener when there is actually grass.” “A kinder kind of egg.” “Blue sky above, green grass below. Just livin’ the dream.” Some cartons have longer explanations of how Nellie’s chickens “can peck, perch, and play on plenty of green grass.” The website has similar material, including videos showing hens in open outdoor spaces. 

However, the complaint says that all this is false, and that Nellie’s “provide[s] hens cramped, stressful environments, lacking meaningful access to the outdoors or to sunlight.” It claims that Nellie’s does not give them enough vitamins and nutrients. “They lay an egg a day, every day, for most of their lives. After [Nellie’s] overworked, crowded, and malnourished hens prematurely deplete themselves of calcium, [Nellie’s] sell[s] them to slaughter.” 

Those are the female birds; the complaint says the male ones are killed by cruel methods when they are still chicks.

The complaint also claims that the company cuts hens’ beaks when they are a day old. The purpose of beak cutting is to stop the hens from “severe feather pecking, self-mutilation, and cannibalism” but the complaint says that this is only needed when the hens are kept in stressful and unnatural environments. 

The complaint further alleges that the hens are kept in sheds with only 1.2 square feet of floor space each. The complaint alleges the hens cannot spread their wings or engage in other natural behaviors and that such crowding causes physical stress and psychological harm. 

As to going outside, the complaint says that the only access to the outdoors is small hatches in the side of the shed that are kept closed all winter, in bad weather, and at night. Many hens may simply be too far from the hatches to push their way through all the other hens to get there.

The complaint alleges that Nellie’s marketing is false and misleading, and that it amounts to breaches of warranty and fraud.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Nellie’s Free Range Eggs Bad Hen Treatment and False Advertising Complaint

March 6, 2019

In 2014, the complaint for this class action notes, the total value of egg production was ten billion dollars. It’s not unusual that some companies would raise hens in overcrowded and unnatural conditions for a cut of that profit. But this complaint alleges that Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, which purports to treat its hens humanely, is also guilty of chicken abuse. The complaint alleges that Nellie’s marketing is thus false and misleading, and that it amounts to breaches of warranty and fraud.

nellies_eggs_hen_abuse_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Nellie’s Free Range Eggs Bad Hen Treatment and False Advertising Complaint

March 6, 2019

In 2014, the complaint for this class action notes, the total value of egg production was ten billion dollars. It’s not unusual that some companies would raise hens in overcrowded and unnatural conditions for a cut of that profit. But this complaint alleges that Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, which purports to treat its hens humanely, is also guilty of chicken abuse. The complaint alleges that Nellie’s marketing is thus false and misleading, and that it amounts to breaches of warranty and fraud.

nellies_eggs_hen_abuse_complaint.pdf
Tags: Animal Health and Welfare, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Misrepresentation