In re: Simply Orange Juice Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, No. 4:12-md-2361 (W.D. Mo.):  The Court denied the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment in this consolidated multi-district class action alleging violations of multiple states’ consumer protection statutes as well as various common law claims. The consolidated cases are based on the allegation that Defendant

Teufel v. Karlin Foods Corp., No. 1:14-cv-23100 (S.D. Fla.): The Court issued a final order approving a class action settlement in this putative class action alleging violation of Florida’s DUTPA, and raising claims of negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. Plaintiff based the case on the allegation that Defendant misleadingly advertises its Great Value Corn

Brown et al v. Hain Celestial Group, Inc., No. 3:11-cv-03082 (N.D. Cal.): The Court issued an order granting Plaintiff’s motion for final approval of class action settlement and dismissal of all claims with prejudice in this putative consumer class action asserting violations of California’s CLRA, UCL, and COPA (California Organic Products Act). Plaintiffs in

In re Whole Foods Market, Inc., Greek Yogurt Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, No. 1:14-mc-2588 (W.D. Tex.): In this multidistrict putative class action, Plaintiffs alleged that Defendant Whole Foods Market, Inc. misrepresents its “365 Everyday Value Plain Greek Yogurt” as having two grams of sugar per serving when it contains at least 11 grams of sugar per serving. The Court recently issued an order dismissing Defendant Whole Foods Market, Inc.’s motion to dismiss as moot (on settlement grounds), and granting the remaining Defendants’ motion to dismiss with leave to amend.

The Court granted the remaining Defendants’ motion to dismiss after finding that Plaintiffs’ state law claims were expressly preempted by the FDCA. Specifically, the Court agreed with Defendants that Plaintiff had failed to allege that the scientific testing conducted by Consumer Reports (upon which the Second Amended Complaint relied) complied with the prescribed testing methodology set forth in the FDA’s regulations. The Court found that Plaintiffs had failed to state a claim because they relied solely upon the Consumer Reports testing, even after affirmatively alleging that it did not follow the applicable protocols. If allowed to proceed on this record, the Court reasoned, Plaintiffs “would impose liability inconsistent with the FDCA.”Continue Reading Sugar Lawsuit Dismissed on Preemption Grounds

Gallagher v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., No. 3:15-cv-3952 (N.D. Cal.): The Court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss with leave to amend in this putative class action alleging violations of California’s CLRA, FAL, and UCL. Plaintiff raises claims that Defendant, Chipotle Mexican Grill, misled consumers by claiming that it is the first national company in the food industry to serve a menu devoid of GMOs, when in fact its products contain GMOs (or, rather, are grown using GMO feed). The Court found that Plaintiff failed to plead that she had standing to bring her claims because she had not adequately alleged what economic injury that she suffered as a result of Defendant’s purported misrepresentations. Although Plaintiff had only claimed that meat, dairy products, and sodas at Chipotle contained GMOs, she failed to plead what exactly she purchased at the chain, and therefore had not shown that she suffered any economic loss. Further, the Court also found that Plaintiff’s failure to allege that she intends to purchase Defendant’s food products in the future meant that she had not alleged “a real and immediate threat” of future injury sufficient to have standing to seek injunctive relief.
Continue Reading Chipotle Wraps Up Dismissal of GMO Feed Case

Jones v. Nutiva, Inc., No. 4:16-cv-711 (N.D. Cal.): Putative class action alleging violations of California’s UCL, CLRA, and FAL, based on the allegation that Defendant misleadingly labels and markets its coconut oil product as “inherently healthy,” and a “healthy alternative to butter and other oils,” when in fact its products are inherently unhealthy. Complaint.

Daniels et al v. Izze Beverage Co., No. CGC 16-550319 (Cal. Sup. Ct. – San Francisco Cnty.):  Putative class action alleging violations of California’s UCL, FAL, CLRA, and a claim for breach of quasi-contract, based on the allegation that Defendant falsely represents that its carbonated juice products contain “no preservatives,” when the products contain citric acid and/or ascorbic acid. Complaint.
Continue Reading New Filings for February 23, 2016

Peterson v. CJ America, Inc., No. 3:14-cv-2570 (S.D. Cal.): Plaintiff in Peterson alleges that several of Defendant’s pre-packaged food products were mislabeled as having “NO MSG ADDED” and as “100% all natural ingredients,” when the products contain several ingredients containing MSG.

On Plaintiff’s motion, the Court denied preliminary approval of a class settlement whereby Defendant agreed to contribute $1.5 million to a Settlement Fund from which the following items would be paid: attorneys’ fees and expenses not to exceed $375,000, an incentive award to Plaintiff of $5,000, settlement administration expenses, and cash awards to class members.
Continue Reading Court Rejects Class Settlement Bid in MSG Case

Gates, et al. v. MusclePharm Corp., No. 3:15-cv-2870 (S.D. Cal.): Putative class action alleging negligent misrepresentation, violations of California’s consumer protection statutes (CLRA, UCL, and FAL), and violations of New York’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Plaintiffs claim that Defendant’s whey protein products are misleadingly packaged in large containers that contain a significant percentage (45%) of non-functional slack-fill. Complaint.

Gioia, et al. v. GNC Holdings Inc., No. 3:15-cv-2871 (S.D. Cal.): Putative class action alleging negligent misrepresentation, violations of California’s consumer protection statutes (CLRA, UCL, and FAL), and violations of New York’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Plaintiffs claim that Defendant’s whey protein products are misleadingly packaged in large containers that contain a significant percentage (30%) of non-functional slack-fill. Complaint.

Forsher v. The J.M. Smucker Co., No. 1:15-cv-7180 (E.D.N.Y): Putative class action alleging violations of California’s CLRA, FAL, and UCL, as well as violations of Ohio’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Consumer Sales Practices Act and other state law claims. Plaintiff claims that Defendant falsely represents that its Jif Natural Peanut Butter Spread is “natural,” when in fact it contains ingredients derived from bioengineered ingredients. Complaint.
Continue Reading New Filings for January 11, 2016

Kumar v. Salov North America Corp., No. 4:14-cv-02411 (N.D. Cal.): In this putative class action alleging claims arising under various California statutory and common laws, Plaintiff claims that Defendant falsely markets its extra virgin olive oil as “Imported from Italy” when in fact the olives Defendant uses in its products are not grown or

In re McCormick & Company, Inc., Pepper Products Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL-2665 (J.P.M.L.): Courts have recently transferred a number of lawsuits related to Defendant’s alleged practice of slack-filling its ground black pepper tins to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation for consolidation. Transferred actions include: Theis v. McCormick & Co. Inc.