By The Pennsylvania Record | Jan 24, 2018


What if the same company made lip balm and glue sticks in similar containers and a batch of the latter somehow got mislabeled as the former and distributed to retailers? 

A customer who thought he or she was purchasing lip balm and applying it to their lips would be dissatisfied with the results and have a legitimate grievance, if they could articulate it. They might also have a cause of action against the manufacturer whose quality control team let that one slip by.

If a manufacturer of aerosol sprays accidentally mislabeled some of  its stock of spray paints as hair sprays, legitimate complaints might result.

If a manufacturer of ointments mislabeled its Bengay knockoff as its Prep H imitation, there might be litigation in the end.

Lawsuits might result in each of the scenarios above, but they would rightly be directed against the manufacturers of the mislabeled products – not against retailers unwittingly assuming, as did customers, that the products were what the labels said.

Paul Wiesen of Philadelphia claims he was a victim of mislabeling two years ago when he bought a couple of bags of candy identified as soft caramels at the Academy Pharmacy and the second bag turned out to be full of hard candies, on which he allegedly broke some teeth.

Wiesen has filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against the Marlow Candy & Nut Company of Englewood, N.J. If his story is true and he can substantiate it, he may have a case.

But Wiesen also included Academy Pharmacy as a defendant, and that's suspicious.

Does he really believe that the pharmacy has the means to verify that every sealed package it receives in bulk and offers for sale is properly labeled? 

Can he prove that he didn't buy one bag of soft caramels and one bag of hard candies? Can he explain why none of Academy Pharmacy's other caramel-loving customers suffered the same fate?

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