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Charles Sipos is a class action litigator with more than two decades of experience focusing on technology, consumer goods, and privacy issues.

He litigates class actions nationwide and has appeared and argued on behalf of defendants in federal courts, including in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits. Charles’ litigation successes have included dismissals and summary judgment based on lack of Article III injury, statutory standing under consumer protection laws, federal preemption, primary jurisdiction, failure to allege damages, First Amendment protection for commercial speech, the “reasonable consumer” standard, and related defenses.

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

Lilly v. Conagra Foods Inc., No. 12-55921 (9th Cir.): Plaintiff appealed dismissal of her putative class action complaint on federal preemption grounds.  Plaintiff had alleged claims under California’s consumer protection and unfair competition laws, contending that the labeling of defendant’s sunflower seed products misleadingly provided a lower sodium content than the product contained.  The panel

Sethavanish v. ZonePerfect Nutrition Co., 12cv2907 (N.D. Cal.): The court denied class certification in a putative class action based on defendant’s alleged misuse of the phrase “All-Natural Nutrition Bars” on its products, where the products contain allegedly “synthetic” ingredients.  Plaintiff alleged that she purchased the bars for her husband and that she would have purchased

In re Quaker Oats Labeling Litig., 10cv0502 (N.D. Cal.): The court granted preliminary settlement approval of a Rule 23(b)(2) injunctive relief class in this case, which involves allegations that the inclusion of partially hydrogenated oils (“PHOs”) in Quaker products violated state and federal labeling laws because of “wholesome” claims on some of the

Three federal judges previously stayed “natural” cases involving bioengineered ingredients and referred those cases to the FDA for further guidance on the issue.  In a response letter to the judges in those cases, the FDA wrote that private litigation was not the right forum to decide these questions.  Given the competing consumer and industry interests

Shaouli v. The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., No. BC532667 (Cal. Super., Los Angeles County):  Plaintiff claims she purchased various Hain Celestial “energy shot” beverages, and paid a premium for them, because she believed they were lower in sugar and healthier than other beverages.  Plaintiff alleges the products are misbranded under California’s consumer protection statutes, because they disclose “evaporated cane juice” as an ingredient instead of “sugar.” Complaint.

Surzyn v. Diamond Foods, Inc., No. 14cv0136 (N.D. Cal.):  Plaintiff alleges that Tia’s-brand tortilla chips are labeled “all natural” but contain synthetic and/or artificial ingredients, including maltodextrin and dextrose.  Complaint.

Belli v . Nestle USA, Inc., No. 14cv0286 (N.D. Cal):  Plaintiffs allege the labeling of defendant’s “Fruit Bars” products is misleading as to the claim “All Natural” because of beet juice coloring used in the products.  Complaint.

Belli v . Nestle USA, Inc., No. 14cv0283 (N.D. Cal):  Plaintiffs allege defendant’s Eskimo Pies products are misbranded because of a “no sugar added” claim on the products’ labels.  Complaint. 
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Gustavson v. Wrigley Sales Co., No. 12cv1861 (N.D. Cal.):  The court granted a motion to dismiss claims that various Eclipse gums and Lifesaver candies are misbranded as “sugar free.”  The court found that the claims were expressly preempted under federal law and dismissed with prejudice.  The court reasoned that defendant had complied with the

Astiana v. Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, No. 10-cv4387 (N.D. Cal.):  The court denied plaintiff’s motion for class certification, finding that plaintiff had failed to establish ascertainability or commonality under Rule 23(a) and predominance under Rule 23(b).  The Astiana case involves ice cream labeled “all natural,” which plaintiff alleged contain “synthetic” alkalized chocolate. In denying

Perkins Coie LLP is pleased to announce the launch of its Food Litigation blog, a resource designed to provide real-time information on the dynamic world of food and beverage litigation.  The blog is authored by Perkins Coie lawyers with deep litigation and regulatory experience representing food industry clients.  In updates posted throughout the week, we

Werdbaugh v. Blue Diamond Growers, No. 12cv2724 (N.D. Cal.): The court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss a complaint alleging that Blue Diamond’s Chocolate Almond Milk is falsely labeled as “all natural” because it contains preservatives and other synthetic chemicals; lists ECJ as an ingredient rather than “sugar”; and makes unlawful health claims on the