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Private Surgeon General Class Action Defender

Monthly Archives: September 2012

Class Action Settlement Regarding Alleged Mislabeling of “Organic” Milk

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Misbranding, Organic, Preemption, Settlement

A Missouri federal judge has preliminarily approved a class action settlement in a multidistrict litigation involving the alleged mislabeling of organic milk. In re Aurora Dairy Corp. Organic Milk Mktg. & Sales Practices Litig., No. 4:08-md-1907-ERW, D.E. 321 (E.D. Mo. Sept. 14, 2012). Piggybacking on a 2007 report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture… Read More

Food Binge: Big Tobacco Lawyers Set Their Sights on the Food Industry

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Misbranding

As the New York Times recently reported a group of former tobacco lawyers looking for a shakedown have gone on a food binge.  Over the past four months, class counsel has filed 24 (and counting) nearly identical food “misbranding” class actions in federal court in the Northern District of California.  So many “misbranding” cases have… Read More

Are “Reasonable Consumers” Free to Ignore Ingredient Lists?

Posted in False Advertising Claims

Manufacturers might assume that they can avoid false advertising claims by accurately disclosing a product’s ingredients on the ingredient label.  The Ninth Circuit held otherwise in a 2008 case involving Gerber’s “Fruit Juice Snacks.”  See Williams v. Gerber Products Co., 552 F.3d 934 (9th Cir. 2008).  Plaintiffs in Williams alleged that the product’s packaging was… Read More

Strategies and Defenses for Retailers Named in Consumer Class Actions

Posted in GMO, Retailer Defenses

Are retailers at risk in private surgeon general class actions?  Often, their only conduct is putting a product on the shelf.  They haven’t designed the product, much less had any input on the product labels or advertising.  Yet, time after time, retailers are named as defendants in false advertising class actions.  Private surgeon generals often… Read More

Prop 37: The New GMO Initiative to Promote Food Litigation

Posted in GMO

Proposition 37 targets genetically engineered foods—comprising up to 70% of the U.S. food supply—by requiring labels that the proposition’s supporters hope will discourage consumers from buying such foods. These foods would have to display the words “Genetically Engineered” or “May Be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering” on their packaging.  In addition, such foods could not… Read More

Preemption and the Health Claim Class Action: FDA to the Rescue?

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Misbranding, Preemption

In one of the very first private surgeon general class actions, plaintiffs alleged that pictures of fruits on fruit drink products conveyed to consumers that the products contain those fruit in amounts greater than the 10% fruit juice common in most fruit juice drinks.  Thankfully, the Central District of California ruled that the FDA’s precise… Read More