Category: Reasonable Consumer

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Notable Ruling: Glyphosate Verdict—Implications for Food Litigation

As you all know, the Northern District of California jury found earlier this week that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide product was a “substantial factor” in causing a plaintiff’s non Hodgkin lymphoma. The defendants and industry were all very optimistic that the trial, which focused solely on causation and not knowledge or company conduct, would result in … Continue Reading

Food Litigation Year in Review 2018

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 litigation team … Continue Reading

Notable Ruling: What’s In Your Water?

In its recent ruling in Weiss v. Trader Joe’s Company, the Central District of California faced the question of whether certain statements on product labels promoting high-alkalinity water were false and misleading or simply puffery. Among these statements were claims that the water is “ionized to achieve the perfect balance.” Plaintiff Dana Weiss argued that … 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

Notable Ruling: A Swift Win for Coca-Cola in Becerra v. Coca-Cola (N.D. Cal.)

In yet another Rule 12 decision tied to the “reasonable consumer” standard, Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California dismissed a putative class action against Coca-Cola challenging the name “Diet Coke” as misleading. Plaintiff in the lawsuit, Shana Becerra, alleged that the product name “Diet Coke,” which has been in regular use since … Continue Reading

Rulings, Orders, Settlements – January 30, 2018

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 … 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 – October 9, 2017

Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Class Action Involving Healthfulness of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Traction v. Viva Labs, Inc., No. 3:16-cv-02772 (S.D. Cal.): The Court issued an order denying Defendant’s motion to dismiss this putative class action for violation of California’s CLRA, UCL, FAC and breach of express and implied warranties. Plaintiff alleges Defendant misleadingly … Continue Reading

Court Allows Late July Snacks Claims to Proceed

Swearingen v. Late July Snacks, LLC, No. 3:13-cv-04324 (N.D. Cal.): The Court issued an order granting in part and denying in part Defendant’s motion to dismiss this putative ECJ class action, which alleges violations of California’s CLRA, FAL, and UCL, and a claim for unjust enrichment. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant has misleadingly used the term … 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 – March 13, 2017

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 … Continue Reading

Court Grants-in-Part and Denies-in-Part Defendant’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings in False Labeling Action Involving Coconut Oil

Jones v. Nutiva, Inc., No. 4:16-cv-711 (N.D. Cal.): The Court issued an order granting in part Defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in this putative class action alleging violations of California’s UCL, CLRA, and FAL, based on the claim that Defendant misleadingly labels and markets its coconut oil product as “inherently healthy, and a … Continue Reading

Court Grants Class Certification in Kraft Foods Cheese Case

Morales et al v. Kraft Foods Group, Inc. et al., No. 2:14-CV-04387 (C.D. Cal.): The Court granted class certification in this putative class action alleging claims under California’s UCL, FAL, and CLRA for false and misleading advertising of cheese labeled “all natural” despite containing artificial ingredients such as food coloring. The Court concluded that the … Continue Reading

Court Leaves Standing and Choice of Law Questions for Class Certification Stage

Peterson v. CJ America, Inc., No. 3:14-cv-2570 (S.D. Cal.): The Court granted in part and denied in part Defendant’s motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, motion to strike, in putative class action alleging that several of Defendant’s prepackaged food products were mislabeled as having “NO MSG ADDED” and “100% all natural ingredients” when the … Continue Reading

Court Grants Summary Judgment on Antioxidant Claims

Khasin v. The Hershey Co., No. 5:12cv01862 (N.D. Cal.): In this putative class action alleging claims under California’s UCL, FAL, CLRA, and unjust enrichment claiming Defendant made misrepresentations about its products spanning antioxidant claims, nutrient content claims without the proper disclosures, health claims, sugar free claims, unlawful serving sizes, improperly listing polyglycerol polyrincoleic acid, and … Continue Reading

Court Applies Common Sense Standard in Dismissing ‘No Refined Sugars’ Case

Ibarrola v. Kind LLC, No. 3:13cv50377 (N.D. Ill.): The Court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss with prejudice in a putative class action alleging claims under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, common law fraud, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment, claiming that Defendant’s use of evaporated cane sugar and molasses in its products was misleading and … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal Based on Standing, Preemption

Reid v. Johnson & Johnson and McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, No. 12-56726 (9th Cir.): The Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded the district court’s order dismissing the case for lack of standing. The Ninth Circuit held that the “reasonable consumer” standard is used to determine violations of the UCL, CLRA, and FAL, but not Article III standing. … Continue Reading

Gerber Wins Summary Judgment in Baby Food Suit

Bruton v. Gerber Prods., No. 12-cv-2412 (N.D. Cal.):  A California federal judge denied plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment and granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a putative class action alleging that Gerber misbrands and misrepresents its baby food products as to certain nutrient content claims.  The court premised its decision to award summary … Continue Reading

“Wildly Nutritious” Fruit Lawsuit Ends With Dole’s Victory on Summary Judgment

Brazil v. Dole Packaged Foods, LLC, No. 5:12-cv-01831(N.D. Cal.):  After partially decertifying a putative class action alleging that Dole’s fruit products are misbranded as “all natural,” Judge Lucy Koh granted Dole’s motion for summary judgment, bringing to an end the lengthy Brazil v. Dole litigation. Judge Koh found that plaintiff failed to present evidence demonstrating … Continue Reading

Court Grants Summary Judgment Based on Reasonable Consumer Standard

Rahman v. Mott’s LLP, No. 13cv3482 (N.D. Cal.):  In a putative class action alleging that Mott’s apple juice–labeled “no sugar added”–violates FDA regulations because it contains concentrated fruit juice, plaintiff alleged causes of action under California’s UCL, FAL, CLRA, as well as common law negligent misrepresentation and breach of quasi-contract.  The court granted the defendant’s … Continue Reading

Milk Advertising Class Action Dismissed

Ruiz v. Darigold, Inc./Northwest Diary Association, No. 2:14-cv-01283 (W.D. Wash.):  A federal judge dismissed a putative class action alleging that Defendants sell milk products falsely advertised as having been produced in an environment that is safe for animals, healthy for consumers, and respectful of workers’ rights.  The court held that plaintiff had failed to show … Continue Reading