Communications & Media Civil Procedure Products Liability

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Advertising Law - May 2016 #3

Fake Subscription Notices, Real FTC Lawsuit - Fake subscription notices are the subject of a new lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission in an Oregon federal court. The defendants, a web of dozens of...more

Man Claims Marijuana Made Him A Killer: The Increasing Scope of Product Liability in the Cannabis Industry: Kirk v. Nutritional...

Like the rest of the manufacturing world, cannabis Industry participants are beginning to face product liability risk following the legalization of marijuana. Last week, three sons of a woman killed by their father during an...more

Preemption: Oregon Has Not Gone Bananas

Can you get sued over a picture of a banana? It seems the answer might depend on where you live and probably not in Oregon. That is one takeaway from a good preemption case that came out of the District of Oregon last week,...more

No Tea Time for Class Action Plaintiffs: Class Certification Denied for Bigelow Green and Black Tea Drinkers

Northern District of California Judge William Orrick recently denied class certification in two food misbranding class actions challenging antioxidant claims for Bigelow green and black teas. Khasin v. R.C Bigelow Inc., Case...more

TPPs Fail to Put Their Money Where Their (Litigation) Mouth Is and Lose

In third party payor litigation over prescription medical products, we have often marveled at the causation arguments that plaintiffs have offered and the willingness of some courts to accept collective proof over what really...more

Class Cert Denial Redux: Plaintiff’s “Manufactured” Standing Falls Short in Yakult Yogurt Action

A California federal district court recently denied a plaintiff’s second attempt to certify a class of Yakult consumers allegedly misled by Yakult’s packaging and advertising claims touting the health benefits of its yogurt,...more

MMPA Watch - Advertising Puffery Found Non-Actionable in Hurst v. Nissan

The Missouri Court of Appeals recently overturned a jury verdict under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) against Nissan North America, Inc., arising out statements made by Nissan in the advertising and promotion...more

Passive Trademark Licensor Held Not Liable for Product Defect

Can merely licensing a trademark result in strict liability for injuries resulting from a product bearing the trademark? A decision earlier this month says no....more

Cut the Fat . . . Just Not Yet: Court Rules that PHO Claims Are Preempted

Northern District of California Judge Maxine Chesney recently granted Nestlé’s motion to dismiss a challenge to partially hydrogenated oil (PHO) in Nestlé’s Coffee-mate® coffee-creamer products, finding plaintiff’s claims...more

Ninth Circuit Revives Chobani Yogurt Action, But Puts Claims on Ice and Leaves Questions Unanswered

There has been much recent discussion of the primary jurisdiction doctrine, as well as stay motions based on the doctrine, related to FDA’s review of its evaporated cane juice (ECJ) draft guidance. Now, in its recent...more

The (Not So) Sweet Sound of FDA’s Silence: Judge Seeks Answers from FDA on ECJ Draft Guidance

We recently reported on developments in evaporated cane juice (ECJ) stays pending the FDA’s finalized guidance on the ingredient. In March 2014, FDA announced that it would revise its ECJ draft guidance, and many courts in...more

Ruling Could Put Deceptive Labeling Cases on Hold

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today placed on hold a consumer class action involving yogurt labels until the FDA issues final guidance on use of the terms at issue in the dispute—a decision that could ripple...more

Chocolate Giant Need Not Disclose Child Labor in Supply Chain

Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California ruled earlier this month in Hodsdon v. Mars, Inc., Case No. 3:15-cv-04450, that neither the FAL, the UCL, nor the CLRA require a company to disclose on its labels...more

Jury Finds in Favor of Coca-Cola in POM False Advertising Suit

UPDATE: The jury found in favor of Coca-Cola and against POM Wonderful in the trial over whether Coca-Cola misled consumers into believing that Coke’s “Minute Maid Enhanced Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored 100% Blend”...more

Testing 101: Court Dismisses Whole Foods’ Yogurt MDL over Failure to Comply With FDA Testing Requirements

On February 16, 2016, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of the Western District of Texas dismissed a multidistrict litigation involving 11 putative class action lawsuits against various Whole Foods corporate entities and...more

Judge Wants Jury to Decide if "Modified Orange Oil" is the New "Orange"

Last month, Judge Fernando Gaitan, Jr. decided that a false advertising class action against Simply Orange is not "simply" over. On February 8, the court denied the parties' cross motions for summary judgment finding that...more

Reviving a Forgotten Fad: Three Judges Lift Stays of Evaporated Cane Juice Claims

We’ve all heard about food fads: Paleo, artisanal, farm-to-table. But what about food litigation fads? Plaintiffs’ lawyers must scour the same grocery aisles, judging from their past “sweet tooth” obsession with...more

Food for Thought: California Court Prevents Second Bite at the Yogurt - Torrent v. Yakult U.S.A., Inc., No. 8:15-cv-00124-CJC-JCG...

Plaintiff Nicolas Torrent filed a putative class action alleging yogurt drink manufacturer, Yakult U.S.A., Inc.’s marketing and advertising claims concerning digestive health benefits were false and deceptive. Plaintiff...more

Food for Thought: Ninth Circuit Reinstates 'Natural' Labeling Class Suit Against Hain Celestial - Balser v. The Hain Celestial...

The Ninth Circuit held that a consumer’s definition of “natural” as alleged in the complaint is sufficient for the court’s determination of the sufficiency of the pleading with respect to a motion to dismiss. In Balser,...more

Sweet Victory: Whole Foods Uses FDA Regulations to Dismiss Complaint in Greek Yogurt MDL

This month, United States District Judge Sam Sparks of the Western District of Texas dismissed a Second Amended Consolidated Complaint in an MDL styled In re: Whole Foods Market, Inc., Greek Yogurt Marketing and Sales...more

California Court Rejects Tuna Settlement Over Scope of Release

In recent years, courts have been more carefully scrutinizing class action settlements. A recent example is Hendricks v. Starkist Co., Case No. 3:13-cv-00729 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 19, 2016), where the U.S. District Court for the...more

Court Stays Away from Trans Fat in General Mills Case

A recent decision from the Central District of California demonstrates the challenges serial plaintiffs may have with pursuing similar class actions and showcases the primary jurisdiction doctrine. On December 29, 2015, in...more

Ninth Circuit: No Relief from Stay in General Mills’ Trans Fats Case Pending FDA Action

The Ninth Circuit will not review district court stays, the appeals court recently held, because they are not “final orders” subject to immediate appeal. On January 26, 2015, the Ninth Circuit granted General Mills’ motion to...more

Wal-Mart Seeks Dismissal of “Pork and Beans” False Advertising Lawsuit

On October 7, 2015, a putative class action lawsuit was filed against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores East, LP (collectively “Wal-Mart”) in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The lawsuit...more

Retail and Consumer Products Law Roundup - January 2016

Eye on the Courts: IP Cases for Retailers to Note - Why it matters - Retail companies have closely monitored a series of cases from the U.S. Supreme Court on down, which have focused on IP matters covering induced...more

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