In this trial before me as a Small Claims arbitrator, Michelle, the claimant, is suing two defendants; a TV show called “Cooking Healthy” (not its real name, which I have changed here), and Max’s Supermarket, a small supermarket in Manhattan.
Michelle is suing both of them for $1,000, claiming that she was misled by the TV show and was humiliated by the supermarket’s employees.
Michelle was recently watching “Cooking Healthy”, her favorite cable television show.
She particularly liked this show because it aimed at viewers like herself; mainly dieters who are overweight.
Michelle admitted to being overweight. “I’ve tried everything, including standing on my head” to lose weight without success, she said.
Cooking Healthy’s chef Jim (I will here call him “Jim”, although that is not his real name) built a recent show around what he called “defatted cocoa powder”.
Jim claimed that he believed that defatted cocoa powder was an alternative dietary supplement for overweight persons who were trying to avoid fats, and who, like Michelle, could not do without chocolate and still wanted to lose weight.
Jim endorsed defatted cocoa powder, but denied making any weight loss claims.
He demonstrated the powder’s use in several dishes that he prepared on camera.
He admitted that he gave “Max’s Market” (not its real name either) as his source of the powder.
Michelle went the next day to Max’s Market to buy defatted cocoa powder as she wanted to use it at once.
The store, however, was not the least bit helpful to her. The first salesclerk said that they were out of the powder; another clerk said that they never had it, and according to Michelle, the store manager then got into an argument with her and was rude, argumentative and used some bad language in their heated discussion with her about the powder.
Is Michelle entitled to an award?
To see my decision, click on the link below – Decision