Perkins Coie is pleased to present its fourth annual Food Litigation Year in Review 2019, offering a summary of the past year’s key litigation outcomes, regulatory developments, and filing data. Using metrics from our proprietary database, developed by our food litigation team in order to track and understand trends in this area, 2019’s Year in Review again reports an increase in class action litigation, with a record-breaking 173 new lawsuits filed. The upward filing trends in the class action landscape are mirrored in other industries and in the prosecution of related claims: putative class actions against the pet food and dietary supplement industries were on the rise in 2019, as were Proposition 65 warning notices.
Continue Reading Food Litigation Year in Review 2019

Perkins Coie is pleased to present its third annual Food Litigation Year in Review, offering a summary of the year’s key litigation outcomes, regulatory developments, and filing data. Last year, pointing to uncertainty at the appellate level, Perkins Coie predicted continued litigation in 2018. Using metrics from our proprietary database, developed by our food

Parties Settle Kombucha False Advertising Action

Retta, et al. v. Millennium Products, Inc., No. 2:15-cv-01801 (C.D. Cal.): The Ninth Circuit entered an order granting Objector-Appellant’s motion for voluntary dismissal of this putative class action for violations of California’s CLRA, UCL, and FAL, as well as New York’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Plaintiffs alleged that Defendant’s kombucha beverages are falsely and misleadingly labeled, representing the products as containing antioxidants when in fact the beverages “do not have even a single nutrient that the FDA recognizes and approves of for labeling statements using the term ‘antioxidant.’”
Continue Reading Rulings, Orders, Settlements – January 30, 2018

Court Grants Motion to Dismiss Class Action Involving Organic Baby Formula

Organic Consumers Association v. The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., No. 1:16-cv-00925 (D.D.C.): The Court entered an order granting Defendant’s motion to dismiss this putative class action for violation of the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant’s “Earth’s Best” brand infant and toddler formula is falsely and misleadingly labeled “organic,” when it in fact contains several ingredients that are not permitted in organic food products, among them, ascorbyl palmitate, zinc sulfate, sodium selenite, and taurine.
Continue Reading Rulings, Orders, Settlements – January 10, 2018

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

Kline, et al. v. Iovate Health Sciences, U.S.A., Inc., No. 3:15-cv-02387 (S.D. Cal.):  The Court issued an order granting in part and denying in part Defendant’s motion to dismiss this putative class action alleging Defendant’s supplement products are packaged in “large, opaque containers that contain more than 40% empty space.”  In granting the motion

Swearingen v. Pacific Foods of Oregon, Inc., No. 3:13-cv-04157 (N.D. Cal.): The Court issued an order dismissing this ECJ action, which challenged Defendant’s use of the term “evaporated cane juice” on the ingredient lists for its products. The order dismissed with prejudice Plaintiff’s claims, which failed to plead reliance, and asserted violations of California’s

Erika McCartney v. Pacific West Ingredients LLC, et al., No. CGC-17-556912 (Cal. Super. Ct. – San Francisco Cnty.): Proposition 65 action alleging Defendants failed to warn consumers their Organic Merchants Co. brand cacao nibs contain cadmium.

Burton, et al. v. Inventure Foods, Inc., No. 3:17-cv-0134 (S.D. Ill.): Putative class action for violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, unjust enrichment, and breach of express warranty. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant misleadingly markets and sells its Boulder Canyon branded snack chips as containing “evaporated cane juice” on their ingredient lists, instead of sugar. Complaint attached.


Continue Reading New Filings – March 13, 2017

Watkins Incorporated v. McCormick & Company, No. 1:15-mc-01825 (D.D.C.): In this putative class action alleging that Defendant deceptively “slack-filled” its black pepper containers, which Plaintiff says caused it to lose pepper sales by confusing consumers, the Court granted in part Defendant’s motion to dismiss. Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiffs’ claims for lack of constitutional

Decerbo v. Melitta United States of America Inc., No. 8:16-cv-00850 (M.D. Fl.): In this putative class action alleging Defendant deceptively mislabeled its flavored coffee products by omitting federally- and state-mandated language about artificial flavorings on its “French Vanilla” and “Hazelnut Creme” flavored coffees, the Court granted in part Defendant’s motion to dismiss. Defendant moved