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 1982, might mislead consumers into believing that merely drinking Diet Coke will necessarily lead to weight loss. The complaint cited scientific studies which the plaintiff claimed to show that consuming diet sodas actually leads to weight gain.

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

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

Alonso v. Bauducco Foods Inc., No. 502017ca012068 (Fl. Circuit Ct. – Palm Beach Cnty.): Putative class action for violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express warranty and unjust enrichment. Plaintiff alleges Defendant advertised its cracker products as being “all natural” despite the fact that the products contain “artificial, synthetic and/or genetically modified ingredients.”
Continue Reading New Filings – November 15, 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 labels and markets its Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as healthy, and as a healthy alternative to butter and other cooking oils, despite that it is actually inherently unhealthy and a less healthy alternative. The Court denied the motion based on lack of standing and declined to dismiss Plaintiff’s UCL, FAL, and CLRA claims based on the reasonable consumer test.  The Court also denied the motion with respect to Plaintiff’s UCL unlawful claim, and breach of express and implied warranty claims.
Continue Reading Rulings, Orders, Settlements – October 9, 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

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

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 healthy alternative to butter and other oils,” when in fact it is inherently unhealthy and a less healthy alternative.  
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

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