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Food Litigation Newsletter - March 2015 # 2

In This Issue: - RECENT SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS AND RULINGS ..Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal Based on Standing, Preemption ..Court Applies Common Sense Standard in Dismissing ‘No Refined Sugars’...more

Calif. Appellate Court Endorses Averaging Lead Exposure in Food and Beverage Prop. 65 Disputes

In a rare published decision concerning California’s expansive Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as “Prop 65,” the California Court of Appeal on March 17, 2015, dealt companies a victory in...more

Third Circuit: Pennsylvania Law Preempted By The FAA

The Third Circuit recently ruled that a Pennsylvania statute prohibiting an unregistered businesses from maintaining any “action or proceeding” in any court in the state interferes with the enforcement of arbitration awards...more

Notes From The Off-Label Underground

Keeping track of litigation over off-label use/promotion frequently sends us off on tangents. We’ve wandered into abortion cases, securities law cases, criminal cases – even cases brought by criminals....more

Fee-Shifting Bylaws: State of Play

The fate of “loser plays” fee-shifting bylaw/charter provisions has yet to be finally determined. As previously mentioned in a blog, fee-shifting language has, however, shown up in a number of ways, both with respect to...more

Court Finds that Class Action Plaintiffs’ False Advertising Claims are Stripped Bayer Based on Federal Preemption

In the recent case of Gallagher v. Bayer AG, Case No. 14-cv-04601-WHO (N.D. Cal. March 10, 2015), the plaintiffs asserted that the defendants Bayer AG and related entities (collectively, “Bayer”) engaged in false advertising...more

Treaty Preempts Discrimination and Contract Claims From Seat Assignment Dispute - Although the Complaint Did Not Plead a Montreal...

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted an airline's pre-answer motion to dismiss a passenger's discrimination and breach of contract claims arising from the airline's alleged failure to assign the...more

Challenge to Delaware Unclaimed Property Estimation Methods Allowed to Proceed

A lawsuit challenging the unclaimed property estimation methodology used by the State of Delaware and its auditor Kelmar Associates will proceed, according to a ruling issued by a Delaware federal district court on March 11....more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: New Jersey Appellate Court Rules That HAMP Does Not Bar State Breach of Contract Claims

In Miller v. Bank of America Home Loan Servicing, L.P., A-0169-13T2, the New Jersey Appellate Division recently held that while HAMP precludes a private right of action, it “does not preempt pursuit of valid state law claims...more

U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in Direct Marketing – Out of State Retailers may be in for a Shock!

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in one of the three state and local tax cases argued in this term - Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl, 575 U.S. __(2015) At first glance, the Court’s ruling adds clarity to the Tax...more

Washington District Court Holds that CERCLA Displaces Federal Common Law Public Nuisance Claims

A Washington district court has recently held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) displaces federal common law public nuisance claims for damages. (Anderson v. Teck...more

Third Circuit Finds Pennsylvania Statute Preempted by FAA

The Third Circuit recently found that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts a Pennsylvania statute that restricts corporate plaintiffs in state and federal court in Pennsylvania to those companies that are registered to do...more

CEQA Update: Three New Court of Appeal Decisions Issued; Key Supreme Court Rulings Expected (and the Sacramento Kings are on a...

2015 is shaping up to be another active year for CEQA judicial review. After taking an extended holiday break, the Courts of Appeal have recently published three decisions, two of which reinforce existing case law on how to...more

First Circuit Finds Federal Preemption of State Tort Claims That Conflict With A Medication’s FDA-Approved Labeling & Warnings

An opinion issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on February 20, 2015 held that the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) preempted claims that Lexapro’s U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)...more

Court Holds That Physician’s State Law Claim For Disability Benefits Is Preempted by ERISA: Hershan v. Unum Group Corporation

A federal court has held that a radiologist’s state law contract claim for certain disability insurance benefits arose under a welfare benefit plan governed by ERISA and was therefore preempted by ERISA. In Hershan v. Unum...more

Is your confidential information “property” if it does not qualify as a trade secret?

The answer likely is “no” according to a recent decision from a federal court in San Francisco. The plaintiff in that case, a data storage company, alleged that a competitor misappropriated its trade secrets by illegally...more

Magistrate Declines To Recommend Dismissal Of State Law Counterclaims

Fallon, M.J. Magistrate’s Report and Recommendation recommends denying plaintiff’s motion to dismiss state law counterclaims....more

California: Service of Suit Endorsement Trumps Forum Selection Clause in Case Involving Product Recall Due to Contamination.

On February 5th in a case involving the recall of over $500,000 worth of oyster products made from Korean shellfish, the Southern District of California held: (1) that the policy’s service of suit clause, which gave the...more

Food for Thought: 2014 Litigation Annual Review

Food for Thought reports on significant court decisions affecting the food industry. The focus of this edition is on several food-related cases pertaining to class certification; particularly, on district court decisions...more

Comments on USPTO’s Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance (Part 2)

The Preemption Requirement - Preemption is the core concern that drives the Court’s “exclusionary principle”. The Supreme Court in Alice stated...more

Oregon Court of Appeals Issues Decision Interpreting Antifraud Provisions of Oregon Securities Law

On February 11, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued an important decision interpreting the antifraud provisions of the Oregon Securities Law. The Court of Appeals held that ORS 59.137, which governs the private right of action...more

The Interconnect Flash - No. 46: Court Deals Crushing Blow to Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law

On February 5, 2015, Judge Robert G. Stearns issued industry-favorable decisions in two worker classification suits pending in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Based upon the First Circuit...more

SCC Recognizes a Lawyer’s Duty of Commitment to the Client’s Cause

In a decision released on Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized a new principle of fundamental justice: a lawyer’s duty of commitment to the client’s cause. In Canada (Attorney General) v Federation of...more

SEC Sanctions Chinese Accounting Firms for Refusal to Surrender Documents

On February 6, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) imposed sanctions against four China-based accounting firms for their refusal to surrender documents in conjunction with an investigation of potential...more

Washington Federal Court Finds Nuisance Claims Displaced by CERCLA

Expanding the reach of the federal displacement doctrine and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in AEP v. Connecticut, a federal district court for the first time held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...more

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