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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Shamea Broussard, et al. v. Dole Packaged Foods, LLC, No. 3:23-cv-03320  (N.D. Cal. – April 8, 2024): The Northern District of California dismissed without prejudice a putative class action alleging the labeling and marketing of defendant’s fruit bowls, fridge packs, canned fruit, canned juices, and certain beverages as nutritious and healthy misleads consumers because the products contain sugar levels beyond daily recommendations set by the American Heart Association. The Court concluded the challenged statements such as “a promise to provide everyone, everywhere with good nutrition” and that the products “seal in goodness and nutrition” amounted to puffery and would not deceive a reasonable consumer. Opinion can be viewed here.

Patricia Donadio v. Bayer HealthCare LLC, No. 6:22-cv-0652-EAW  (W.D.N.Y. – March 18, 2024): The Western District of New York dismissed without leave to amend a putative class action challenging the marketing and labeling of an over-the-counter severe cold medication with the phrase “Honey Lemon Zest,” accompanied by images of a lemon wedge and a honey dipper. Plaintiff alleged that the marketing gave consumers the impression that the medicine contains “honey and lemon ingredients beyond a de minimis amount.” The Court noted that the packaging does not explicitly claim that the medicine is “made with” or “made from” honey, lemon, or lemon zest. Ultimately, the Court concluded a reasonable consumer would not think that the product actually contains honey and lemon because the labeling conveys that the product is honey and lemon flavored, and the lists of active and inactive ingredients do not include lemon or honey. 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.