Stay Lifted In Olive Oil False Advertising Suit

Koller v. Med Foods, Inc., No. 3:14-cv-2400 (N.D. Cal.): The Court issued an order lifting the stay of this putative class action asserting violations of California’s CLRA, FAL, UCL, and raising claims for fraud and deceit. Plaintiff claims Defendants misled consumers into paying a premium for their olive oil products by marketing and advertising them as “extra virgin” and imported from Italy, when the olive oil is mixed with refined oil and the bottle is insufficient to protect it from heat and sunlight damage, causing the chemicals to break down and not stay extra virgin. The action was stayed pending decisions from the Ninth Circuit in Jones v. ConAgra Foods, No. 14-16327, Brazil v. Dole Packaged Foods, LLC, No. 14-17480, and Kosta v. Del Monte Foods, No. 15-16974, after the Court found those decisions might affect class certification issues like ascertainability and common proof of damages. On January 3, 2017, the Ninth Circuit issued two separate decisions in Briseno, and on January 19, 2017, the Court lifted the stay and advised the Plaintiff that it may renew his motion for class certification. (Previous Law360 coverage of the action here).