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 advertised that its iced tea is labeled as “All Natural,” when in fact, it contains artificial coloring, caramel color.

The Court rejected Defendant’s argument that Plaintiffs’ claims are barred by the doctrines of express preemption, conflict preemption, field preemption, and implied preemption on the grounds that the FDA, vested by Congress with the sole authority to regulate the use, manufacture, and labeling of color additives, has the first and last word on the issue of color additives. Similarly, the Court rejected Defendant’s argument that its compliance with the FDA’s labeling requirements for caramel coloring provides it a safe harbor under California law. The Court also found that Plaintiffs sufficiently alleged a misleading statement. Finally, the Court denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss on the basis that the First Amendment protects its commercial speech.
Continue Reading Rulings, Orders, Settlements – September 18, 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

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 Angeles Cnty.): Putative class action alleging that Defendant misrepresents the ingredients of its guacamole.

Environmental Research Center, Inc. v. Trevo LLC, No. RG17-845021: (Cal. Super. Ct. – Alameda Cnty.): Proposition 65 action alleging defendant fails to warn consumers that its wellness products contain lead.
Continue Reading New Filings for January 23, 2017

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

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 its snack food products with labels including the words “healthy,” “all natural,” and/or “non GMO.”
Continue Reading Court Grants Defendants’ Motion, Staying Consolidated Action Involving “Healthy and All Natural” Claim on Primary Jurisdiction Grounds

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

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 pyrophosphate and maltodextrin. With regard to Plaintiffs’ claims for breach of contract and violation of the CLRA, the Court granted Defendant’s motion, after finding Plaintiffs’ lacked privity with Defendant to bring a contract claim.  The Court disposed of the CLRA claim because Plaintiffs sent the statutorily required pre-suit notice to the wrong entity and never cured the defect. 
Continue Reading Whole Foods’ Motion for Summary Judgment Granted-in-Part and Denied-in-Part in Baked Goods Labeling Row

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,”

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