Perkins Coie is pleased to announce the launch of our sixth annual Food Litigation Year in Review. In recognition of the firm’s practice expansion, this year-in-review report has been broadened to the Food & Consumer Packaged Goods Litigation Year in Review 2021. Accompanying the 2021 report are infographics that highlight key litigation outcomes, filing
Tenth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of “Biologically Appropriate” Pet Food Case
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently affirmed dismissal in Renfro v Champion Petfoods USA Inc., where the plaintiffs challenged label claims such as “Biologically Appropriate,” “Trusted Everywhere,” “Fresh and Regional Ingredients,” and “Ingredients We Love [From] People We Trust.” The district court had dismissed these claims as either puffery…
Net Weight/Serving Size Disclosures Helpful in Slack-Fill Case
Accurate net weight and serving size disclosures on packaging can be a helpful defense to slack-fill claims, as one Southern District of New York court recently held.
On January 24, 2022, the court in Klausner v. Annie’s granted Annie’s motion to dismiss—with prejudice—in a case alleging the presence of non-functional slack-fill in the defendant’s fruit…
Plaintiff Could Not Clean Up Defendant’s Hand Sanitizer Labeling
Artfully worded disclaimers are an increasingly powerful tool for food companies looking to protect their label claims, as the following case illustrates.
On December 6, 2021, the Southern District of California tossed a case alleging that Defendant’s hand sanitizer falsely claimed it “kills 99.99% of germs,” followed by an asterisk that stated, “Effective at eliminating more than 99.99% of many common harmful germs and bacteria in as little as 15 seconds,” because the product was “substantially ineffective against approximately 54 pathogens.” The Court first held that Plaintiff failed to establish standing because he lacked a cognizable injury—”Plaintiff points to the Products alleged ineffectiveness….Yet nothing suggests that the Products did not accomplish their intended purpose to some degree.” Further, Plaintiff’s amended complaint “makes no representations that the alleged issues resulted in payment of a premium.”…
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Sugar by Any Other Name: Plaintiff’s Recent Challenge to “Dehydrated Cane Juice Solids” Fails
Health-conscious consumers continue to challenge the sugar content in foods, including sugar appearing in other forms, such as “dehydrated cane juice solids.” But as one recent case shows, calling sugar by another name is not actionable alone if the product does not otherwise make representations about sugar content and accurately discloses sugar content on the nutrition facts panel.
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A Fish Tale: California Court Dismisses Claim Against Sub Maker For Lack Of Specificity
Key Takeaway: As consumer demand for “sustainable” products grows, so does the risk of litigation challenging sustainability claims on advertising and packaging. As one recent case shows, failure to plead actual reliance can be grounds for dismissal of claims that sound in fraud, including claims under California’s False Advertising Law (“FAL”), Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”),…
ESG Claims Amid Increased Regulatory Scrutiny and Litigation Risks
From investors and shareholders to customers and employees, key stakeholders are increasingly demanding both corporate action and broad-based public disclosure of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. As corporations take action and report on their ESG challenges and achievements, they will be well served to take steps to mitigate the risks of both regulatory enforcement…
Current Trends in Cosmetics Litigation: CLE Presentation
Despite a tumultuous year, one thing stayed the same: plaintiffs’ class action attorneys continued to file plenty of lawsuits against manufacturers of consumer packaged goods (CPGs). Attorneys in Perkins Coie’s Food Litigation practice have defended false labeling cases across a broad range of products and industries. As our practice area has expanded, we have continued…
Food & Consumer Packaged Goods Litigation Year in Review 2020
Perkins Coie is pleased to announce that its fifth annual Food Litigation Year in Review, in coordination with the expansion of the firm’s practice, has been broadened and renamed the Food & Consumer Packaged Goods Litigation Year in Review. In coordination with this rebranding, we have also launched an infographic report that highlights key litigation outcomes, filing data, and industry trends. Despite a tumultuous year, one thing stayed the same: plaintiffs’ class action attorneys continued to file plenty of lawsuits against manufacturers of consumer packaged goods (CPGs).
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Recent Ruling: Ninth Circuit Rules that Dog Food Purchasers’ Class Certification Campaign Has No Bite
Last week the Ninth Circuit concluded that a campaign for class certification brought by dog food purchasers was all bark and no bite.
In a memorandum disposition issued on December 9, 2020, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of class certification on predominance grounds, because of the varying nature of the labeling representations at issue, and because plaintiffs failed to present a viable damages model. Reitman v. Champion Petfoods USA, Inc., et al., No. 19-56467, 2020 WL 7238439 (9th Cir. Dec. 9, 2020). The panel also reaffirmed the principle that full refunds are not a recoverable form of damages for consumer goods that plaintiffs purchase and use—and thus receive some value from.
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