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Private Surgeon General Class Action Defender

Tag Archives: Unfair Competition Law (UCL)

A Handmade Dismissal for Maker’s Mark

Posted in False Advertising Claims

A recent decision from the Southern District of California demonstrates the uphill battle consumer lawsuits face when challenging “handmade” or “handcrafted” labels on alcoholic beverages.  On July 27, 2015, in Nowrouzi et al. v. Maker’s Mark Distillery Inc., Case No. 3:14-cv-02885, U.S. District Judge John A. Houston granted Maker’s Mark’s motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ four… Read More

Judge Illston Finds Proof of Injunctive Standing and Consumer Deception Lacking in Consumer Challenge to Mott’s 100% Apple Juice Labels

Posted in Misbranding

Judge Illston’s recent summary judgment ruling in Rahman v. Mott’s LLP, Case No. CV 13-3482 SI (N.D. Cal. Oct. 14, 2014), highlights courts’ varied approaches to the level of proof required to demonstrate Article III injunctive standing and consumer deception.  The court’s opinion also represents a significant win for defendants facing food labeling claims. In… Read More

Plaintiffs Sent Back to the Drawing Board in Mislabeling Suit Over “All Natural” and “Fat Free” Claims on Frito-Lay Rold Gold Pretzels

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Misbranding

Judge Samuel Conti of the Northern District of California recently issued another blow to class action plaintiffs—this time at the motion to dismiss stage—in Figy v. Frito-Lay N. Am., Inc., Case No. 13-3988-SC (N.D. Cal. Aug. 12, 2014) (See post for Judge Conti’s defense-friendly class certification decision in In Re Clorox Consumer Litigation, Case No…. 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

Judge Conti Weighs in on UCL “Unlawful Prong” Requirements in Food Labeling Case Against Frito-Lay

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Misbranding

We recently discussed the growing conflict in the Northern District of California over whether plaintiffs need to plead reliance to state a claim under the “unlawful prong” of California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL).  Judge Conti recently added his voice to the debate, issuing a strong ruling, in a food labeling case against Frito-Lay, that reliance… Read More

Conflict Reigns in Food Court: Court Allows “Unlawful Prong” UCL Claims to Survive Without Allegations of Reliance in Cases Against Wallaby Yogurt and Trader Joe’s

Posted in False Advertising Claims, Misbranding

Judges in the Northern District of California can’t agree on what is required to state a claim under the “unlawful prong” of California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL).  Judge Orrick’s recent decisions in a pair of food labeling cases challenging the use of terms such as “evaporated cane juice” create new uncertainty.  In Morgan v. Wallaby… Read More

Round 2 in Dennis v. Kellogg: Class Action Settlements with Cy Pres Relief

Posted in False Advertising Claims

The district court in Dennis v. Kellogg recently granted preliminary approval of a revised class action settlement. Kellogg is a class action alleging unjust enrichment, as well as violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act and similar laws of other states. First, a bit of history. In September 2012, the Ninth… 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

A Dismissal That’s Sweeter Than Honey

Posted in Motion to Dismiss, Preemption

A recent case from the Central District of California brings good news to defendants making preemption arguments under the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) in private surgeon general cases. Cardona v. Target Corporation, et al., No. 2:12-cv-01148-GHK-SP, Docket Entry 48 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 20, 2013). While defendants have had mixed success with preemption, especially… 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

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