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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Candice Bradby v. Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc., No. 1:23-cv-00522-LKG (D. Md. – April 12, 2024): The District of Maryland dismissed a putative class action challenging the marketing and labeling of defendant’s All Butter Loaf Cake as misleading. Plaintiff argued the “All Butter” representations leads reasonable consumers to believe the cake will contain butter as its main shortening ingredient and that the taste will only be from butter when the product’s flavor is actually derived in part from other ingredients. The Court reasoned that plaintiff failed to plausibly argue sufficient facts to show that the “All Butter” representation would mislead a reasonable consumer and noted that the ingredient list on the back of the packaging discloses all the ingredients contained in the product, including “artificial flavors.”  As a separate basis, the Court also found that the federal Food, Drug, & Cosmetics Act and its implementing regulations preempted plaintiff’s state law claims. Opinion can be viewed here.

Mark Hayden v. Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, Inc., No. 4:23-cv-03862-HSG (N.D. Cal. – April 16, 2024): The Northern District of California trimmed a putative class action alleging the marketing and labeling of defendant’s flaxseed meal products are misleading. Plaintiff alleged that the products’ representations prompted consumers to have the net impression of healthfulness when the products allegedly contain cadmium. While the Court concluded that plaintiff had Article III standing to pursue claims against the company, the Court concluded that plaintiff had not adequately alleged that a disclosure of the products’ purported cadmium levels would be contrary to the net impression of healthiness supposedly generated by the challenged representations. The Court further concluded that the plaintiff had not established that the cadmium levels in the products created an unreasonable safety hazard or are unsafe for consumption. Note: Perkins Coie LLP represents Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, Inc. Opinion can be viewed 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.