CHICAGO (CN) - A pineapple grower's insurance policy does not cover class actions accusing Del Monte of monopolizing the "extra-sweet" pineapple market, the Seventh Circuit ruled.
Six Del Monte companies claimed their general liability policies with Transportation Insurance Co. covered personal and advertising injury claims, which were triggered by a series of consumer class actions in 2004. The complaints accused Del Monte of misrepresenting its Fresh Del Monte Gold pineapples as extra-sweet and patenting the genetic sibling to the Gold pineapple. Del Monte then sued competitors for patent infringement, though it knew its claims about the "extra-sweetness" of the new pineapple were false, the ruling states. Judge Wood held that Del Monte's claims fell under the insurer's "knowledge of falsity" exclusion because the class-action allegations were based on fraud. See ruling.
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