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Private Surgeon General Class Action Defender

Tag Archives: Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA)

Trader Joe’s Wins Dismissal of Soymilk Products Mislabeling Claims

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Misbranding

On December 2, 2015, Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California dismissed with prejudice claims that grocery retailer Trader Joe’s violated California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) by using the term “soymilk” to describe certain food products that did not have cow’s milk. The plaintiffs alleged that Trader Joe’s’ use of the word “soymilk”… Read More

Pom Wonderful Drops Ninth Circuit Appeal of State Claims Filed Against Coca-Cola

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Misbranding, Preemption

On September 19, 2014, Pom Wonderful, LLC dropped its Ninth Circuit appeal of a ruling that dismissed its state deceptive advertising and unfair competition claims against Coca-Cola, a sibling case to a recent Supreme Court decision.  (See prior Pom Wonderful blog post here.)  Accordingly, the Ninth Circuit will not revisit whether Pom Wonderful’s state court… Read More

Vermont GMO Food Labeling Law Challengers Seek Preliminary Injunction

Posted in GMO

In the court battle to have Vermont’s genetically modified organism (GMO) food labeling law (Act 120) overturned, plaintiff trade associations filed a motion for preliminary injunction on September 11, 2014, seeking to enjoin Vermont government officials from implementing the law until the “litigation has run its course.” Grocery Manufacturers Association et al. v. William H…. Read More

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Broad FDA Preclusion in Pom Wonderful Lanham Act Case

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Preemption

On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an 8-0 ruling in favor of Pom Wonderful in a long standing false advertising dispute against rival beverage company Coca-Cola.  Reversing the Ninth Circuit’s broad FDA preclusion ruling, the Supreme Court held that competitors can bring Lanham Act claims like Pom Wonderful’s challenging food and beverage… Read More

Pom Wonderful Brings Food Labeling Dispute To The U.S. Supreme Court: When Are Claims Based On Allegedly Improper Product Labeling Barred By The Food, Drug, And Cosmetic Act?

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Misbranding

A long-standing false advertising dispute between beverage companies Pom Wonderful and Coca-Cola has reached the United States Supreme Court and carries far-reaching implications for other food labeling litigation. On January 10, 2014, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Pom Wonderful LLC v. The Coca-Cola Co., 679 F.3d 1170 (9th Cir. 2012). See Pom Wonderful LLC… Read More

Pom Wonderful Case Against Coca-Cola Heads to the High Court

Posted in False Advertising Claims

The United States Supreme Court has decided to wade into a battle between POM Wonderful LLC and Coca-Cola Co. over whether Coke’s labeling of its Minute Maid pomegranate-blueberry juice blend violates the Lanham Act’s prohibition against false advertising. POM is challenging the Ninth Circuit’s decision upholding dismissal of its Lanham Act claim, which alleged that… Read More

Monster Beverage Dismissal Order Energizes Defenses Available to Food Labeling Defendants

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Preemption, Primary Jurisdiction

A recent, comprehensive decision from the Central District of California lends valuable support to defendants’ ability to pursue pleading challenges and defenses in the context of food labeling class actions.  In Fisher v. Monster Beverage Corp., et al., No. EDCV 12-02188-VAP (OPX), Docket Entry 72 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 12, 2013), plaintiffs Alec Fisher, Matthew Townsend,… Read More

Weight Watchers Class Action Dismissed Due to Plaintiff’s Failure to Properly Test the Challenged Products

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Misbranding, Preemption

On October 17, 2013, a federal district court judge in New Jersey dismissed a putative class action against Weight Watchers International, Inc. (Weight Watchers) alleging that Weight Watchers misrepresented the calorie content of its ice cream bars.  The court dismissed because the plaintiff failed to allege that her testing methods for the challenged products complied… Read More

FDCA Express Preemption Victory in Benecol Misbranding Class Action

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Misbranding, Motion to Dismiss, Preemption

A recent Third Circuit case brings good news for defendants making express preemption arguments under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) in misbranding class actions. Last week, the court affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action holding that Johnson & Johnson’s representations of the trans fat content and cholesterol-lowering capabilities of its Benecol®… Read More

Preemption Still Has Teeth: The FDCA Keeps California False Advertising Claims at Bay in Pom Wonderful Suit

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Preemption

As we have noted in prior posts (FDCA, POM, preemption), the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) can provide a powerful tool to food companies that are hit with claims about their labeling.  Yesterday, Judge Otero in the Central District of California confirmed that preemption under the FDCA has teeth, finding that the FDCA preempts… 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

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

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