Category: Natural

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PC Food Litigation Index: April 2018

Each month we will be sharing the PC Food Litigation Index, a summary of latest class action filings in the food and beverage industry.  This data is compiled by Perkins Coie based on a review of dockets from courts nationwide. In April, “natural” and its opposite, “artificial,” continued to be legally-contested territory in the food … Continue Reading

Industry Insights: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb Provides Comments on “Natural”

In a speech at the National Food Policy Conference today, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb suggested that long-awaited guidance on the food and beverage industry’s marketing use of the term “natural” may be on the horizon. Gottlieb’s speech noted the more than 7,600 comments that landed at the FDA following its 2015 request for feedback on … Continue Reading

Industry Insights: When will the FDA define ‘natural’? Sooner than you might think…

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 to … Continue Reading

Industry Insights: Key Takeaways From The GMA Legal Conference

Earlier this week, attorneys in the Perkins Coie Food Litigation team joined top in-house counsel, defense attorneys and regulatory experts at the GMA Legal Conference which took place in New Orleans, LA.  The conference covered a wide array of important and timely legal issues, with an emphasis on protecting your brands from litigation risks and … Continue Reading

New Filings – February 7, 2018

Newman v. Dierbergs Markets, Inc., No. 1822-CC00194 (Mo. Cir. Ct. – St. Louis): Putative class action asserting violations of Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act, and raising a claim for unjust enrichment. Plaintiff alleges that the label on Defendant’s Extra Crunchy “All Natural” Extra Kettle Cooked Potato Chips is false and misleading, representing the chips as “all … Continue Reading

New Filings – December 29, 2017

Organic Consumers Association v. R.C. Bigelow, Inc., No. 17CA8375 (D.C. Super. Ct.): Plaintiff asserts a cause of action for violation of the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act alleging that defendant deceptively labeled, marketed and sold its Bigelow’s Green Tea as “All Natural” and “Natural,” when in fact the product contains the synthetic chemical … Continue Reading

New Filings – November 15, 2017

Hilel v. Gilda Industries Inc., No. CACE-17-019821 (Fl. Circuit Ct. – Broward Cnty.): Putative class action alleging violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and raising claims for negligent misrepresentation, breach of express warranty, and unjust enrichment. Plaintiff alleges Defendant misrepresented that its cracker products are “all natural,” when the crackers actually contain … Continue Reading

Rulings, Orders, Settlements – September 18, 2017

Court Denies Motion to Dismiss in False Advertising Action Involving Iced Tea Martin, et al. v. TradeWinds Beverage Company, No. 2:16-cv-09249 (C.D. Cal.): The Court entered an order denying Defendant’s motion to dismiss this putative class action for violations of California’s CLRA, UCL, FAL, and for breach of express warranty. Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants falsely … Continue Reading

Food Litigation Year in Review

Perkins 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 of … Continue Reading

New Filings for January 23, 2017

Manemeit v. Gerber Products Co., et al., No. 2:17-cv-00093 (E.D.N.Y.): Putative class action alleging Defendants deceptively labels their “Good Start” infant formula as “the first and only formula whose consumption reduces the risk of infants developing allergies,” when such statement is false. Complaint. Miller v. Yucatan Foods, L.P., No. BC645421 (Cal. Super. Ct. – Los … Continue Reading

Decerbo v. Melitta United States of America Inc.

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 to … Continue Reading

Court Grants Defendants’ Motion, Staying Consolidated Action Involving “Healthy and All Natural” Claim on Primary Jurisdiction Grounds

In re Kind LLC “Healthy and All Natural” Litig., No. 1:15-md-02645 (S.D.N.Y.): The Court entered an order granting in part Defendants’ motion to dismiss this consolidated putative class action asserting violations of multiple states’ consumer protection laws and raising claims for breach of express warranty, unjust enrichment, and negligent misrepresentation.  Plaintiffs allege Defendants deceptively marketed … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in “All Natural Fruit” Case, Upholds Denial of Class Certification

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 word … Continue Reading

Whole Foods’ Motion for Summary Judgment Granted-in-Part and Denied-in-Part in Baked Goods Labeling Row

Garrison v. Whole Foods Market, Inc., No. 3:13-cv-5222 (N.D. Cal.): The Court granted in part and denied in part Defendant’s motion for summary judgment in this putative class action alleging that Whole Foods’ house-brand baked goods are mislabeled “all natural” in violation of California consumer protection statutes because they include “synthetic” ingredients including sodium acid … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Reverses District Court Dismissal in Alba Botanics “Natural” Case

Balser et al v. The Hain Celestial Grp., Inc., No. 14-55074 (9th Cir.): The Ninth Circuit reversed the district Court’s dismissal of this putative class action alleging that the use of the word “Natural” on some of the labels of Defendant’s “Alba Botanics” line of personal care products is misleading because the products contain synthetic … Continue Reading

Court Denies Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement

Marshall et al v. Monster Beverage Corp, No. 2:14-cv-6311 (C.D. Cal.): The Court issued an order denying Plaintiffs’ unopposed motion for preliminary approval of class action settlement in this putative class action alleging that Defendant misrepresents its Hansen’s, Vidration, Blue Sky, Energy Pro, Diet Red, and Blue Energy products as being “Natural,” “100% Natural,” or … Continue Reading

Parties Settle “All Natural” Corn Starch Case

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 Starch as … Continue Reading

Settlement Proposed in Beverage Class Action

Marshall et al v. Monster Beverage Corp., No. 2:14-cv-6311 (C.D. Cal.): in this putative class action alleging that Defendant misrepresents its Hansen’s, Vidration, Blue Sky, Energy Pro, Diet Red, and Blue Energy products as being “Natural,” “100% Natural,” or “All Natural” when they actually contain color additives and synthetic ingredients such as citric acid and … Continue Reading

Court Rejects Class Settlement Bid in MSG Case

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 … Continue Reading

Stays for December 14, 2015

Perera v. Pac. Foods of Or., Inc., No. 3:14-cv-2074 (N.D. Cal.): In this putative class action alleging violations of California’s UCL, FAL, and CLRA, based on the claim that Defendant falsely labels its Hemp Non-Dairy beverage and other products as “all natural” when it contains “artificial” ingredients and “evaporated cane juice,” the Court issued an … Continue Reading

Organic Label Due Diligence Is Critical After CA Supreme Court Approves Lawsuits

The Supreme Court of California ruled last week that consumers could assert claims under California consumer protection statutes for intentionally mislabeling products as “organic.” In a unanimous opinion, the court reversed a lower court’s ruling that the plaintiff’s claims were preempted by the Organic Foods Production Act (Organic Foods Act).  See Quesada v. Herb Thyme … Continue Reading

Welch Foods Class Action Stayed Pending Outcome in Ninth Circuit Cases

Park v. Welch Foods Inc., No. 12cv6449 (N.D. Cal.): In a putative class action alleging claims under California consumer protection statutes, as well as unjust enrichment, claiming that Defendant’s juices and spreads are misrepresented as being healthier than they are and “all natural” when in fact they contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, the parties … Continue Reading