Kramarz v. JR Carlson Laboratories Inc., 2017-CH-12609 (Ill. Super. Ct. – Cook Cnty.): Putative class action raising claims for breach of express warranty and unjust enrichment, and alleging violations of various states’ consumer protection statutes, including the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Plaintiff alleges Defendant misleadingly markets its sports supplement called “L-Glutamine” as helping people recover from exercise and giving energy for muscle growth, when in  fact the product’s ingredients have been found to be ineffective for these purposes.
Continue Reading New Filings – October 2, 2017

Court Denies Motion to Dismiss for Non-Functional Slack-Fill Class Action

White v. Just Born, Inc., No. 2:17-cv-4025 (W.D. Mo.): The Court issued an order denying Defendant’s motion to dismiss this putative non-functional slack-fill class action for violation of Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act, and raising a claim for unjust enrichment. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant misleads consumers about the amount of Hot Tamales candy and Mike and Ike candy inside their opaque, cardboard packaging. Defendant moved to dismiss arguing that: (1) a reasonable consumer would not be deceived by the packaging; (2) slack-fill is not by itself impermissible under federal or state law, violation of food-labeling regulations does not support a finding of liability under the MMPA, and Plaintiff does not sufficiently allege that the slack-fill is non-functional or deceptive; (3) Plaintiff lacks standing to pursue injunctive relief; and (4) Plaintiff fails to state an ascertainable injury under the MMPA. In denying the motion, the Court held that the question of whether a consumer would determine from the labeling information that the boxes contain excess slack-filled space is a question of fact that Plaintiff had sufficiently plead its claims. It further held that Defendant plead a threat of ongoing or future harm, sufficient to establish standing.
Continue Reading Rulings, Orders, Settlements – August 4, 2017

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

Stay Lifted In Olive Oil False Advertising Suit

Koller v. Med Foods, Inc., No. 3:14-cv-2400 (N.D. Cal.): The Court issued an order lifting the stay of this putative class action asserting violations of California’s CLRA, FAL, UCL, and raising claims for fraud and deceit. Plaintiff claims Defendants misled consumers into paying a premium for

Torrent v. Ollivier, et al., No. 2:15-cv-02511 (C.D. Cal.):  The Court denied Plaintiff’s motion for class action certification in this putative class action asserting violations of California’s CLRA and UCL, based on the allegation that Defendants false represent that their goji berries were harvested from the Himalayas, when they, in fact, came from the Ningxia province of China. 
Continue Reading Court Rejects Repeat Plaintiff’s Unsupported Bid for Class Certification in False Labeling Action Involving Goji Berries

Brazil v. Dole Packaged Foods, LLC, No. 14-17480 (9th Cir.):  In an unpublished decision, the Ninth Circuit reversed the district Court’s dismissal on summary judgment of Plaintiff’s claims under the UCL, FAL, and CLRA, but upheld the district Court’s denial of class certification in this closely watched case alleging that the use of the

Kumar v. Salov North America Corp., No. 4:14-cv-2411 (N.D. Cal.):  The Court granted Plaintiff’s motion for class certification in this action alleging Defendant uses inferior bottles for its extra virgin olive oil and falsely markets its oil as “Imported from Italy” when the olives are not grown or pressed in Italy. 
Continue Reading Class Certification Granted in Olive Oil Suit

Torrent v. Yakult U.S.A., Inc., No. 8:15-cv-00124 (C.D. Cal.): The Court denied Plaintiff’s renewed motion for class certification in this putative class action alleging violations of California’s UCL based on the claim that Defendant falsely represents that its probiotic beverages (“Yakult”) are beneficial to digestive and immune system health, despite contradictory scientific evidence.

The

Khasin v. R.C. Bigelow Inc., No. 3:12-cv-2204 (N.D. Cal.): The Court denied Plaintiff’s motion for class certification in this putative class action asserting violations of California’s UCL, CLRA, and FAL, and raising a claim for unjust enrichment.  Plaintiff’s fourth amended complaint accuses Defendant of making unlawful health, nutrient content, and antioxidant claims on the packaging of its tea products.

The Court declined to certify a class under Rule 23(b), finding Plaintiff lacked standing because it was unlikely that he would be harmed by the product in the future.  United States District Judge William H. Orrick found Plaintiff’s allegation that he “would consider” purchasing Bigelow tea in the future if the company complied with California law fell short of the standard for demonstrating a future intent to purchase the products.  The Court also found Plaintiff had not established a likelihood that he would suffer the same injury alleged in the future.
Continue Reading Court Denies Plaintiffs’ Bids for Class Certification in Suits Alleging Tea Company Made Improper Antioxidant Claims