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Private Surgeon General Class Action Defender

Tag Archives: Class Certification

Stand Down! Court Rejects Yakult Yogurt False Advertising Class for Lack of Standing

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims, Misbranding

On January 5, 2016, in Torrent v. Yakult U.S.A., Inc., U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney denied the plaintiff’s motion to certify a class of Yakult yogurt consumers who were allegedly misled by Yakult’s packaging and advertising claims.  The Court found that the sole named plaintiff lacked Article III standing to seek injunctive relief… Read More

Consumers Win Class Certification in Sturm Foods’ Grove Square Coffee Pod Suit

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims, Motion to Dismiss

An Illinois federal judge recently certified a class of consumers who allege that Sturm Foods and its parent company Treehouse Foods Inc. marketed their Grove Square Coffee pods for use in Keurig Inc. brewers—and designed them to mimic Keurig’s “K-Cups” that yield fresh coffee—but hid the fact that they were 95% instant coffee by using… Read More

Ninth Circuit Holds That Google AdWords Class Can Go Forward, Despite Individualized Damages Calculations

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims

In Pulaski & Middleman v. Google, Inc., the Ninth Circuit recently held that a class could be certified in connection with Google AdWords, even though damages would require some individualized calculations. Under Google’s AdWords program, advertisers paid Google for ads based on the click-through rate. Google, however, allegedly never told advertisers that their ads might… Read More

Ninth Circuit Reverses Class Certification In Joint Supplement Case Because Not All Class Members Saw Misrepresentation

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims

The Ninth Circuit has held that a district court abused its discretion in certifying a class based on allegedly false health claims because not all class members saw the advertising. The Ninth Circuit said that the trial court thus erred in ruling that the predominance requirement was satisfied: “[I]n order for the issue to predominate,… Read More

Skinnygirl Margarita Class Rejected Again: Proof Fell Below Third Circuit’s High Bar for Ascertainability

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims, Misbranding

A New Jersey federal court ruled that plaintiffs once again failed to demonstrate the ascertainability of a class of purchasers seeking to challenge “all natural” claims by the makers of Skinnygirl Margarita. Stewart v. Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., No. 11-5149 (D.N.J. June 8, 2015). The court held that the Third Circuit’s high bar for… Read More

California Federal Court Follows Third Circuit in Denying Class Certification Based on Lack of Receipts in Kitty Litter Case

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims

Judge Conti of the Northern District of California recently issued a decision denying class certification in a consumer class action against The Clorox Company involving claims arising from the marketing and advertising of Fresh Step cat litter (In Re Clorox Consumer Litigation, Case No. 12-00280-SC (N.D. Cal. July 28, 2014) (ECF No. 129) (“Order”)). The court… Read More

A New Dawn for California Class Actions

Posted in Class Certification

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”  The California Supreme Court could have been channeling Mark Twain when it rejected, emphatically, the unbridled use of statistical sampling to prove liability in a class action wage/hour case.  In a unanimous decision, California’s high court in Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, No…. Read More

Algarin v. Maybelline: Survey Evidence of Purchaser Behavior Defeats Class Certification

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims

A recent decision by a California federal judge highlights the important role that expert testimony and evidence can play in defeating a bid for class certification. On May 12, 2014, Judge Anthony Battaglia of the Southern District of California denied a motion for class certification in a lawsuit challenging Maybelline’s allegedly false and deceptive advertising… Read More

Receiving the Benefit of the Bargain: Reconciling Judge King’s Class Certification Rulings in Forcellati and Caldera

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims, Misbranding

Within one week’s time, Judge George H. King, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, came down on opposite sides of the class certification coin, granting class certification in Forcellati v. Hyland’s, Inc., CV 12-1983-GHK (MRWx) (C.D. Cal. Apr. 9, 2014), and denying it in Caldera v. The J.M…. Read More

Class Certification Denied in Chipotle “All Natural” Case Where Class Unascertainable from Chipotle’s Records

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims

A recent decision in the Central District of California reflects the growing trend among federal courts to deny class certification where the class is not ascertainable from the defendants’ records. Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Dale Fischer denied class certification in Alan Hernandez v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Case No. 12-05543 DSF (C.D. Dec…. Read More

Kashi and Bear Naked Beat Back Nationwide Class Actions Brought Against “All Natural” Products

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Misbranding

On July 31, 2013 the Southern District of California refused to certify nationwide classes in nearly identical “all natural” cases brought against Kashi and its subsidiary, Bare Naked. In Astiana v. Kashi Co., Case No. 3:11-cv-01967, plaintiffs alleged that the “Nothing artificial” and “All natural” language on certain of Kashi’s product labels was misleading because… Read More

“All Natural” Suit Against AriZona Iced Tea: Class Decertified and Suit Tossed

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims, Misbranding, Motion to Dismiss

In the world of food misbranding class actions, few cases have yet made it to the merits stage.  Companies defending against these claims should accordingly take note of AriZona Iced Tea’s recent win in Ries v. AriZona Beverages USA LLC, No. 3:10-cv-01139-RS, Docket Entry 195 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 28, 2013). Challenging HFCS and Citric Acid… Read More

Comcast Corp. v. Behrend: Courts Must Assess Merits of Plaintiffs’ Damages Evidence at Class Certification

Posted in Class Certification

Yesterday, in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 569 U.S. __ (2013), the Supreme Court answered a looming class certification question left open by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. __ (2011): whether a putative class action plaintiff must offer credible evidence of damages applicable on a class-wide basis before the district court can certify a… Read More

Repeat Customers Insufficient to Defeat Class Certification in Case Involving Joint Supplement Beverage

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims

We reported recently on a decision from the Central District of California in which the court in part denied class certification in a case against Neutrogena because of “repeat customers” of Neutrogena’s products, thus giving rise to individualized questions over whether the product worked as advertised. Last week, another court in the Central District rejected a… Read More

Repeat Customers Drive Denial of Class Certification in False Advertising Wrinkle Cream Suit

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims

Neutrogena recently defeated class certification in a case alleging violations of California’s false advertising laws and express warranty claims against the company in connection with the advertisement and sale of its wrinkle cream products.  Plaintiff alleged that Neutrogena falsely advertised its products as “clinically proven” to repair wrinkles and reduce signs of aging.  In addition to… Read More

“All Natural” False Advertising Class Certified in Arizona Iced Tea Case

Posted in Class Certification, False Advertising Claims

A federal judge in the Northern District of California has certified a California class of Arizona Iced Tea purchasers.  What is striking is that the court only certified a class for declaratory and injunctive relief and denied plaintiffs’ bid to certify a class seeking monetary restitution based on the purchase price.  Ries, et al. v…. Read More

Standing 101: Can You Be Injured by a Product You Never Bought?

Posted in Misbranding, Retailer Defenses, Standing

Common sense tells you that you can’t be injured by something you never bought.  This must be covered in Standing 101, right?  Believe it or not, this issue is being debated right now in the California consumer class action context.  Here’s what’s going on. Standing as a Threshold Issue Courts are grappling with the issue… Read More

Question of the Week: Under Prop 37, how long do companies have to bring their products into compliance with the new labeling requirements?

Posted in Class Certification, GMO

As we’ve previously discussed, Prop 37 has two important labeling components: (1) a requirement that foods made with genetic engineering are labeled as genetically engineered, and (2) a restriction on labeling genetically engineered foods and processed foods as “natural.” The language of Prop 37 suggests that each of these components has a different date on… Read More