False-advertising lawsuit against Cooke Aquaculture dismissed

A lawsuit alleging false advertising on the part of Cooke Aquaculture has been dismissed after a District of Columbia Superior Court Judge found the plaintiff did not present enough evidence to support the claim.

The lawsuit filed on June 28, 2020 alleged that Cooke’s advertisements that touted the company’s practices as “sustainable” and “ecologically sound,” and that its salmon are “naturally raised” under “optimal” animal welfare standards constitute false advertising.

The plaintiff is Washington-DC-based Animal Outlook, formerly called Compassion Over Killings. The animal welfare group in 2019 famously exposed animal cruelty at Cooke’s hatchery in Bingham, Maine, through a covert video recording made by an employee who turned out to be an activist with Compassion Over Killings.

In the lawsuit alleging false advertising, District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Heidi M. Pasichow dismissed the case because the plaintiff provided the court with only one example of a sale of Cooke’s True North-branded farm-raised Atlantic salmon in DC.

Pasichow said a single sale of Martha Stewart for True North product to the District cannot sustain this suit as a lone transaction of US$39.99, of which only US$19.99 reflected the farm-raised Atlantic salmon at issue in this case, “does not rise to the level a ‘substantial connection’ with the District.”

SalmonBusiness has reached out to Cooke Aquaculture for comment.


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