Our weekly roundup aims to keep our readers up to date on recent notable rulings in the food & consumer packaged goods space.

  • Abraham Lizama, et al. v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz LP, No. 4:22-cv-01170-RWS (E.D. Mo. – May 12, 2023): The Eastern District of Missouri granted dismissal of a putative class action alleging consumers are misled by the labeling of defendant’s “Conscious” clothing collection. The court dismissed allegations on reasonable consumer grounds, holding that the court would not imply “sustainable” or “environmentally friendly” claims when these representations were not actually made by the company. Specifically, the court reasoned that “H&M states that its conscious choice garments contain ‘more sustainable materials’ and that the line includes ‘its most sustainable products,’” and “[n]o reasonable consumer would understand this representation to mean that the conscious choice clothing line is inherently ‘sustainable’ or that H&M’s clothing is ‘environmentally friendly’ when neither of those representations were ever made.” Opinion linked here.
  • Alexander Hodorovych v. Dollar General Corp., No. 1:22-cv-03415 (N.D. Ill. – May 23, 2023): The Northern District of Illinois dismissed a putative class action alleging Dollar General falsely labeled its lidocaine patch products as “maximum strength” medication that provides “numbing relief” for “up to 12 hours.” The court held that plaintiff’s claims failed, explaining that a reasonable consumer would not be misled by the challenged labeling statements because “up to” statements establish “a ceiling, not a floor.” Additionally, the court reasoned that reasonable consumers understand over-the-counter products are unlikely to be as potent as prescription products and would not interpret the phrase “numbing relief” to mean that the product completely numbs pain receptors, especially in light of the disclaimer that the product is meant to “temporarily relieve[] minor pain.” Opinion linked here.
  • Kristen Lesorgen v. Mondelēz Global, LLC, No. 3:22-cv-50375 (N.D. Ill. – May 19, 2023): The Northern District of Illinois granted dismissal of a putative class action alleging defendants packaging of their mint gum is misleading as the product contains artificial mint flavoring. The court held that plaintiff’s claims failed as it would be “‘unreasonable’ to find that a reasonable consumer would expect there to be mint ingredients as opposed to mint flavor.” Opinion linked here.
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Photo of David T. Biderman David T. Biderman

David Biderman, a partner in Perkins Coie’s San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, focuses his practice on mass tort litigation and consumer class actions. He heads the firm’s Mass Tort and Consumer Litigation group. He has represented a wide variety of companies in…

David Biderman, a partner in Perkins Coie’s San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, focuses his practice on mass tort litigation and consumer class actions. He heads the firm’s Mass Tort and Consumer Litigation group. He has represented a wide variety of companies in state and federal courts in California for 30 years.

On consumer class actions, David represents packaged food companies, coffee companies, dairy companies, footwear companies and others whose nutritional or health claims have been challenged. He also has represented search engines and other online companies. He has a record of favorable results for clients. He successfully tried a major consumer fraud class action on behalf of one of the world’s major search engines in a case involving online gambling advertisements. For that same client, he negotiated a favorable settlement of a class action challenging its online advertising pricing. He represented a major coffee retailer in defeating a class action on standing grounds. He also has litigated pre-emption defenses arising out of food labeling and obtained a dismissal for a client whose nutritional statements were challenged.

For fifteen years, David managed the firm’s full-service product liability team responsible for defending over 1,000 toxic tort cases pending in Los Angeles and Northern California state courts. These cases entailed ongoing trial activity at various levels for several trials set each month. The highly experienced and well-coordinated team has handled thousands of asbestos toxic tort cases for a variety of clients, including FORTUNE 500 companies from such industries as consumer products, aerospace manufacturing, household goods, dry cleaning and industries that generate electromagnetic fields, such as electric utilities and operators of wireless communications systems.

Photo of Tommy Tobin Tommy Tobin

Thomas Tobin’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and class action matters involving statutory, constitutional, and regulatory issues in a range of industries, including food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, and cannabis. In the food and beverage sector, Tommy has experience defending false…

Thomas Tobin’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and class action matters involving statutory, constitutional, and regulatory issues in a range of industries, including food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, and cannabis. In the food and beverage sector, Tommy has experience defending false advertising claims and consumer protection claims for well-known international corporations.