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Charles Sipos is an experienced class action litigator, having successfully represented clients in class action lawsuits in the technology, food and beverage, gaming and pharmaceutical industries over the past 16 years.

In November 2015, the FDA announced that it was opening regulatory proceedings to define the term “natural” for food and beverage labeling. Ever since then, courts have stayed cases raising “natural” claims under the primary jurisdiction doctrine, appropriately deferring to the FDA’s deliberative process. Recently, however, plaintiffs’ counsel have filed new “natural” suits, or sought

In yet another Rule 12 decision tied to the “reasonable consumer” standard, Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California dismissed a putative class action against Coca-Cola challenging the name “Diet Coke” as misleading. Plaintiff in the lawsuit, Shana Becerra, alleged that the product name “Diet Coke,” which has been in regular use since 1982, might mislead consumers into believing that merely drinking Diet Coke will necessarily lead to weight loss. The complaint cited scientific studies which the plaintiff claimed to show that consuming diet sodas actually leads to weight gain.
Continue Reading Notable Ruling: A Swift Win for Coca-Cola in Becerra v. Coca-Cola (N.D. Cal.)

On August 2, 2017, Perkins Coie will be hosting a 60-minute webcast reviewing the key developments and trends in food litigation. This webcast reflects our active monitoring of food litigation filings in jurisdictions nationwide and will include an analysis of the key legal developments in cases involving claims challenging the labeling, composition, and regulatory compliance

food-lit-imagePerkins Coie has published its first Food Litigation Year in Review, covering key developments and trends in food litigation for calendar year 2016.  The Year in Review’s key insights include data-driven assessments of how (and where) the plaintiffs’ bar has continued its assault on the food industry in 2016. That data reflect the filing

Amnesty International recently released a report alleging that supply chains for production of palm oil—a common ingredient in many consumer products—are tainted by forced and child labor. In the nearly 150-page report titled “The Great Palm Oil Scandal: Labour Abuses Behind Big Brand Names,” Amnesty International accuses several major brand-name consumer goods companies of sourcing palm oil from suppliers that operate plantations where the alleged abuses took place.

The report has already received substantial media attention, including articles published by Forbes, The Washington Post, Reuters and Yahoo News. Although the accuracy of the report’s assertions have not been tested, it nonetheless emphasizes the growing importance of proper diligence in supply chain management and compliance with associated legal obligations for a company’s disclosures about its supply chain practices.Continue Reading Palm Oil Supply Chain Abuses Reported by Amnesty International: Steps to Mitigate Legal Risk

Bruton v. Gerber Products, No. 12cv2412 (N.D. Cal.):  The court largely denied Gerber’s motion to dismiss a complaint that asserts Gerber makes unlawful nutritional content claims on food for children under 2, and that its products claim to have “no added sugar” without making disclosures required by FDA regulations.  The court denied Gerber’s motion to

Ebin v. Kangadis Food Inc., No. 1:13-cv-2311 (S.D.N.Y.):  Plaintiffs alleged warranty claims, fraud and misrepresentation claims, as well as claims under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and New York’s GBL section 349 based on defendant’s alleged practice of selling olive oil labelled “100% Pure Olive Oil,” which in fact contained “olive-pomace oil,” “olive-residue oil,” or

PopChips recently obtained preliminary approval for settlement agreeing to create a fund of $2.4M to allow class members who purchased PopChips products to receive up to $20 per person in refunds.  Plaintiffs alleged that PopChips’ use of the terms “all natural” “healthy” and “healthier” were misleading because the products were, according to plaintiffs, “highly processed,

Kane v. Chobani, No. 5:12cv2425 (N.D. Cal.):  The court dismissed the third amended complaint in this putative class action with prejudice.  Plaintiffs alleged claims under California consumer protection laws and the Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law, claiming that various of defendant’s products, including Chobani Greek Yogurt and Chobani Greek Yogurt Champions were misbranded as