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

  • Judah Rosenwald, et al. v. Kimberly Clark Corp., No. 3:22-cv-04993-LB (N.D. Cal. – August 14, 2023): The Northern District of California dismissed class action allegations that the defendant’s marketing of its germ removal wet wipes falsely suggests that the product is a germicide. Specifically, plaintiffs challenged representations that the product “wipes away 99% of germs from skin” and has “no harsh chemicals,” when the product’s ingredients do not contain any germicides. The court first dismissed claims brought by consumers outside of California on personal jurisdiction grounds, reasoning that the non-California plaintiffs did not establish general personal jurisdiction over the defendant, a Delaware corporation headquartered in Texas, for their claims related to products that they bought in their states of residence. Next, the court held that the California plaintiffs’ claims did not pass the reasonable consumer test because the challenged representations would not plausibly lead a reasonable consumer to believe the product is actually a “germicide.” Opinion linked here.
  • Gracemarie Venticinque v. Back to Nature Foods Co., LLC, No. 1:22-cv-07497-VEC (S.D.N.Y. – August 8, 2023): The Southern District of New York dismissed a putative class action alleging defendants misleadingly labeled its Stoneground Wheat Crackers in a way that made consumers believe the product was made with “organic whole wheat flour,” when its main source of flour is “organic unbleached enriched wheat flour.” The court held that plaintiff did not alleged facts from which the court could infer that the label in question is materially misleading because any ambiguity could easily be resolved by viewing the ingredient label, so that a reasonable consumer would not have been misled. Plaintiff was denied leave to amend the complaint. 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.