Communications & Media Products Liability

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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

Product Regulations: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You - and Could Destroy Your Business

What do the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have in common? Each is, of...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

When Is Natural Unnatural? When It’s Not: The Federal Trade Commission Takes Exception to “All Natural” Claims

In the 1975 song, “Natural Mystic,” legend Bob Marley sang “There’s a natural mystic blowing through the air – I won’t tell no lie.” Channeling Marley, the Federal Trade Commission recently took enforcement action against...more

Advertising with Environmental Certifications and "Green" Seals of Approval

As consumer demand for eco-friendly, non-toxic, and sustainably-sourced products continues to rise, so does the use of environmental certifications on packaging and advertisements for virtually every kind of consumer product,...more

Big Pharma Should Take Reporting Adverse Events to FDA More Seriously

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s requirement that pharmaceutical companies report dangerous side effects cause by medicines they manufacture is being flouted by a few bad actors. Such violations of the federal law are...more

Grace Period Ends Soon for California Companies with Products Containing BPA

On May 11, 2016 products that contain Bisphenol A (BPA) manufactured, sold or distributed in California, without a proper warning, will be fair game for a Notice of Intent to Sue issued under the state’s Safe Drinking Water...more

FDA Biosimilars Guidance Not Conducive To Preemption

The FDA recently released draft guidance concerning the labeling of biosimilar products (analogous in the biologic context to generic drugs). It’s called, not surprisingly “Labeling for Biosimilar Products Guidance for...more

Prop. 65 Warning Requirement for BPA Takes Effect May 11

The California Proposition 65 warning requirement for Bisphenol-A (BPA) takes effect on May 11, 2016. After May 10, products that contain BPA sold in California without a Prop. 65 warning could subject retailers,...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

Post-Senate Vote, Major Food Manufacturers Choose to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

In the wake of the Senate’s defeat of legislation that would have preempted state-mandated GE ingredient labeling on food products, a new trend is emerging, as one food manufacturer after another announces that they will...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

GMO Labeling Debates Forge On After Close Senate Vote

The GMO war rages on after a close vote in the Senate last week addressing proposed voluntary, national standards for GMO labeling. A 48-49 split means the Senate failed to invoke cloture to bring the Biotechnology Labeling...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

Lawsuits Against The Honest Company Highlight Continued Risks of “All Natural” Labeling

Allegations are increasing against The Honest Company, Inc. for false and misleading marketing of its products as “all natural” and “plant-based” when they supposedly contain synthetic ingredients. The Honest Company sells...more

Will Big Pharma’s free speech rights trump FDA, regulatory safety?

Recent developments in the law may have opened a new path for drug makers to exercise corporate free speech rights in ways that don’t look healthy for consumers. The case that concerns health watchdogs started when...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

Ninth Circuit Affirms Bar on California AG’s Efforts to Enforce Slack Fill Provisions Against Del Real in Meat and Poultry Case

On February 12, 2016, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision barring the California Attorney General’s efforts to enforce nonfunctional slack fill provisions against Del Real LLC, a producer of Mexican...more

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