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

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John Wertymer v. Walmart, Inc., No. 1:23-cv-14700 (N.D. Ill. – February 22, 2024): The Northern District of Illinois dismissed a putative class action lawsuit challenging defendant’s honey labeled “Organic Raw Honey” and “Raw Honey” as deceptively marketed. Plaintiff claimed that the products are not “Organic,” “Raw,” or “Honey” based on chemical analysis, overheating during processing, and the addition of other sugars. The court found that plaintiff failed to establish what a reasonable consumer would believe about honey and the processing of honey and thus failed to allege how consumers were potentially misled. Opinion available here.

Camila Cabrera v. Bayer Healthcare LLC, et al., No. 2:17-cv-08525-JAK-JPR (C.D. Cal. – February 23, 2024): The Central District of California denied a motion for class certification in a case alleging that the marketing and labeling of defendants’ children’s multivitamin products are false and misleading because the products are labeled as “complete” when they lack vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin B3. The court found that plaintiff’s deposition testimony is sufficient to show that she is “so uniquely vulnerable” to specific defenses that “it is predictable that this litigation will focus on arguments and facts unique to [her],” so plaintiff is not a typical member of the putative classes and therefore is an inadequate representative. The court also concluded that plaintiff can independently verify the vitamins contained in the products by reviewing the list of ingredients on the labels, so she is unlikely to suffer the same injury again and therefore lacks standing to pursue injunctive relief on behalf of the putative classes. Finally, the court reasoned that because the claims of the proposed classes otherwise clear the requirements for class certification, the court would entertain a motion to amend the operative complaint to change the named plaintiff. Opinion available here.

If you are a food or CPG company contact interested in receiving our daily email update on filings and notable rulings, please reach out to Kellie Hale with your request to be added: khale@perkinscoie.com.

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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.