FDA Boosts Protein Preemption Defense
Class Action Defense Strategy Blog » False Advertising
by Abby Meyer and Robert Guite
2M ago
Recent FDA guidance for determining and declaring the protein grams in a serving has helped muscle a class action out of federal court. FDA’s guidance clarifies that protein nutrient content claims under 21 CFR 101.9(c)(7) can be based on either a direct or indirect methodology.  Under the first method, protein content can be determined by calculating the amino acid content of the food item (which directly correlates with the amount of protein in a food).  Under the second method, protein content can be determined by using the nitrogen-content method (which indirectly measures the am ..read more
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The Scoop on All that Vanilla Flavor Litigation
Class Action Defense Strategy Blog » False Advertising
by Robert Guite and Abby Meyer
2M ago
This article was originally published on Food Navigator on January 13, 2021. If your company sells any vanilla-flavored food or beverage product, then you are probably aware of the innumerable class action cases that have been filed over the last 18 months attacking these products – 67 cases by our count.  Here, we trace the history of this litigation and the outcomes achieved to date. History The first vanilla flavoring class action case was filed in February 2019 in the Eastern District of New York.  At the time, chocolate confectioners were facing a number of class action cases ar ..read more
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It’s Not Pop Secret, Ninth Circuit Affirms that Plaintiff Didn’t Have a Leg to Stand On
Class Action Defense Strategy Blog » False Advertising
by Abby Meyer and Robert Guite
2M ago
The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in McGee v. S-L Snacks Nat’l,., confirms that nutrition fact panel and ingredient disclosures provide information that can be used to support a motion to dismiss and remain important tools for defeating consumer class actions. In the case, the plaintiff had alleged that the manufacturer of Pop Secret brand popcorn engaged in unfair practices, created a nuisance, and breached the warranty of merchantability by including partially hydrogenated oils (“PHOs”) as an ingredient.  The plaintiff also alleged that PHOs are an unsafe food additive that cause hear ..read more
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“Happy Cows” False Labeling Theory is Just “Half Baked”: Court Dismisses False Advertising Claims Against Ben & Jerry’s
Class Action Defense Strategy Blog » False Advertising
by Robert Guite and Abby Meyer
2M ago
The plaintiffs’ bar has continued to challenge sourcing and sustainability claims made by food manufacturers.  In Ehlers v. Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80773 (D. Vt. May 7, 2020), however, the court dismissed such a challenge where the allegedly false statement was taken out of context and the plaintiff ignored the totality of the company’s representations.  “A plaintiff who alleges that he was deceived by an advertisement may not misquote or misleadingly excerpt the language of the advertisement in his pleadings and expect his action to survive a motion to ..read more
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California Court Sets High Bar For Class Certification In False Advertising Cases
Class Action Defense Strategy Blog » False Advertising
by Lisa Yun Pruitt and Shannon Petersen
2M ago
The California Court of Appeal recently made it more difficult for plaintiffs to certify class actions based on false advertising or fraud.  In Downey v. Public Storage, Inc., Case No. B291662, ___Cal.App.5th___ (Feb. 6, 2020), the Court of Appeal affirmed an order denying class certification on the grounds that issues of deception and reliance were not susceptible to common proof. In March 2015, several plaintiffs filed a class action against Public Storage, alleging that its $1 promotional rate was deceptive, violated California’s Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. § 17200 et seq ..read more
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CBD Industry Beware: The False Labeling Class Action Has Arrived
Class Action Defense Strategy Blog » False Advertising
by Robert Guite and Abby Meyer
2M ago
Last week, in what may be the first of its kind, a putative class of Massachusetts consumers filed a false labeling class action complaint against Global Widget LLC, d/b/a Hemp Bombs (“Hemp Bombs”) (Ahumada v. Global Widget LLC, D. Mass. Case No. 1:19-cv-12005), challenging the labeling of numerous Hemp Bombs products, including gummies, lollipops, capsules, syrup, vape and pet products. The lawsuit is primarily based on the allegations that Hemp Bombs makes numerous false and misleading claims on the product labels and on its website “to illustrate and convey to consumers, the level of potenc ..read more
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Ninth Circuit Confirms Plaintiffs Are Not Required to Undermine Defendant’s Evidence to Withstand Summary Judgment in False Labeling Class Actions
Class Action Defense Strategy Blog » False Advertising
by Robert Guite and Abby Meyer
2M ago
The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Sonner v. Schwabe N. Am., Inc. et al.,[1] resolves a split among district courts evaluating the standard that applies to false labeling claims brought under California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act on summary judgment. The Ninth Circuit confirmed that plaintiffs can survive summary judgment by supplying a conflicting expert report, invalidating a line of cases that required plaintiff’s expert to also entirely undermine defendant’s expert. Plaintiff Sonner sued Schwabe North America, Inc., and Nature’s Way Products, LLC, (collec ..read more
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“I’ll Be Back;” Ninth Circuit Gives Arnold Schwarzenegger-Branded Supplement Purchasers Another Shot to Pursue UCL, FAL, CLRA and Warranty Claims
Class Action Defense Strategy Blog » False Advertising
by Robert Guite and Abby Meyer
2M ago
In Durnford v. MusclePharm Corp., plaintiff Durnford asserted that the company’s “Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Mass” supplements are falsely labeled because the protein content of the supplements is misstated. Durnford brought claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), False Advertising Law (“FAL”) Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”) and for breach of express warranty. The district court dismissed these claims, finding them preempted by federal law. However, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s dismissal of Durnford’s claims effectiv ..read more
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