Civil Remedies Communications & Media Products Liability

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Who’s Watching Dietary Supplement Advertising?  Everybody!

For several years now, dietary supplement advertising has been squarely on the radar of the FTC, state regulators, self-regulators, and last but never least, plaintiff’s lawyers. A recent FTC settlement with the makers of the...more

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

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...more

SG’s Latest Brief On Implied FDCA Preemption Under Buckman

On May 26, 2015, the Solicitor General’s office responded to the United States Supreme Court’s Oct. 14, 2014 invitation for the government’s views on the certiorari petition filed in Athena Cosmetics, Inc. v. Allergan, Inc.,...more

Catch of the Day: Tuna Fish Brand StarKist Swims into a Sea of Trouble After Agreeing to Settle Claims Against It

StarKist Co. recently agreed in principle to a $12 million settlement with a putative class of plaintiffs concerning alleged under-filling of tuna fish cans. But agreeing on the dollar figure seems to have been the easy part;...more

“Age Defying” Make-up Case Only Partially Defies Preemption

Coco Chanel said that nature gives you your face at 20, but you earn your face at 50. Perhaps that is not so different from Mark Twain’s theory that one’s wrinkles should merely be monuments to smiles. Those platitudes do...more

Now That That’s Settled: The Status of Class Action Settlements in the Seventh Circuit after Pella, Radioshack and NBTY

Over the last several months, Judge Richard Posner has authored a triumvirate of opinions reversing the district courts’ approval, over objections, of consumer class action settlements—Eubank v. Pella Corp., 753 F.3d 718 (7th...more

Class Action Settlement: Judge Posner Strikes Again At Excessive Plaintiffs’ Attorneys’ Fees

Judge Posner of the Seventh Circuit continues to be prolific in authoring class action-related opinions. I enjoy blogging about these decisions because they are entertaining to read and usually relatively short and to the...more

Faulty Damages Model Leads to Partial Decertification

On November 6, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted in part defendant Dole’s motion for decertification in Brazil v. Dole Packaged Foods, LLC. In...more

Lawful Waffle: California Courts Dismiss “Natural” Food False Ad Claims

Two California courts have recently dismissed false advertising claims concerning the marketing of food products as “natural,” marking a departure from the trend in consumer class actions in that state. In Richards et...more

The Incredible Shrinking Red Bull Refund: How Should Courts Verify Class Membership?

A recent class action settlement has brought fresh attention to two age-old questions. The first: does Red Bull actually give you wings? The second: how carefully should courts screen out bogus claimants from proposed classes...more

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

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....more

Class Certified in Homeopathic Products Case

The plaintiffs’ theory of harm drove a recent decision from the Central District of California certifying a nationwide class of purchasers of ten homeopathic products. Allen v. Hyland’s Inc., Case No. 12-01150 (C.D. Cal. Aug....more

California Northern District Judges Split on Sufficiency of Damages Evidence at Class Certification – Will Ninth Circuit Weigh In?...

Judges in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California are split on the sufficiency of damages evidence at the class certification stage. Jones v. ConAgra Foods, Inc, No. C 12-01633 CRB, 2014 WL 2702726...more

Two Consumer Class Actions Settle for (Mostly) Nominal Amounts Per Plaintiff

Two recent false advertising class action settlements illustrate some of the myriad ways to structure settlements, and also reflect the real risks of these lawsuits when early-stage efforts to dismiss them are...more

District Court Rejects Nationwide Class, But Certifies California-Only Consumer Class After Conducting Rigorous Analysis of...

In Werdebaugh v. Blue Diamond Growers, the plaintiff brought suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to certify a nationwide class of consumers who purchased Blue Diamond almond milk...more

Courts Reject Attempts to Pick Off Named Plaintiffs Via Offers Of Judgment

Following the Supreme Court’s 2012 recognition of concurrent federal and state jurisdiction over Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class actions in Mims v. Arrow Financial Services, federal courts have issued...more

Federal Judge Trims Diet Supplement Maker’s Earnings by $40M and Orders Recall of Banned Labeling

On May 14, a Georgia federal court dished out severe contempt sanctions against Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, its president and two others for violating a 2008 court order relating to the advertising and labeling of Hi-Tech’s...more

Third Circuit Denies Rehearing Of Class Certification Denial In Class Ascertainability Case

On May 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denied a petition for rehearing en banc in Carrera v. Bayer, 727 F.3d 300 (3d Cir. 2013), a closely-watched case on class ascertainability....more

Third Circuit Rejects Effort At End Run Around The Ascertainability Requirement

We previously wrote about the Third Circuit’s decision in Carrera v. Bayer Corp., which reversed a district court’s class-certification order because there was no reliable way to ascertain class membership—indeed, no way to...more

California District Court Finds Plaintiff’s Proposed Damages Models Insufficient Under Comcast; Denies Certification Under Rule...

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California certified a Rule 23(b)(2) class for injunctive and declaratory relief but denied plaintiff’s motion for class certification under Rule 23(b)(3) because plaintiff...more

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

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...more

Tea Manufacturer Defeats Damages – Seeking Class Action Plaintiff in an Opinion Steeped in Comcast

In Lanovaz v. Twinings North America, Inc., 2014 WL 1652338, Case No. C-12-02646-RMW (N.D. Cal. April 24, 2014), the court granted-in-part and denied-in-part a motion for class certification in a false advertising case about...more

J.M. Smucker Company Gets Out of a Jam in Food Labelling Case

On April 15, 2014, in the case Caldera v. The J.M. Smucker Co., CV 12-4936-GHK, J.M. (C.D. Cal.), Smucker Company (“Defendant”) defeated the plaintiff’s motion for class certification in a case challenging the labels on...more

A (POM) Wonderful Result For Consumer Class Action Defendants

On March 25, 2014, the court in In re: POM Wonderful LLC Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, Case No. ML 10-02199 DDP (C.D. Cal.), granted a motion by defendant POM Wonderful LLC (“POM”) to decertify a previously...more

First Circuit Vacates Denial Of Class Certification In Opinion Concerning Pfizer’s Off-Label Marketing Of Neurontin

In Harden Manufacturing Co. v. Pfizer, Inc., 712 F.3d 60 (1st Cir. 2013), one of three cases addressing Pfizer’s off-label marketing of the anticonvulsant drug, Neurontin, the First Circuit vacated the district court’s denial...more

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