Communications & Media Products Liability Civil Procedure

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Missouri Court of Appeals Holds Ingredient List Label on Product Not an Absolute Defense to Claim for Deceptive Merchandising...

Murphy v. Stonewall Kitchen, LLC, No. 104072 (November 8, 2016)- The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, reversed a trial court’s order dismissing an action on the grounds that an ingredient list label was a...more

FDA-Approved Labeling Does Not Equal Medical Standard Of Care

We’ve been defending the ability of physicians to engage in off-label use ever since the Bone Screw litigation of the 1990s. Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs Legal Committee, where the United States Supreme Court affirmed that...more

The Viability of the “Primary Jurisdiction Doctrine” Defense and Other Ways to Stem the Tide of Food & Beverage Class Actions

As our readers are well aware, in the past decade, food and beverage manufacturers have faced an unrelenting onslaught of putative class actions challenging allegedly false or misleading labels. In the January 2016 issue, we...more

Spectrum Facing Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Over Wireless Internet Speed Claim Practices

The Office of the Attorney General for the State of New York (“NYAG”) has filed a consumer fraud complaint against Charter Communications, Inc. and Spectrum Management Holding Company, LLC (“Spectrum”) for deceptive practices...more

5 Hour Energy Deceptive Practices Lawsuit Survives Challenge

A federal court in the Central District of California has denied a motion filed by the manufacturers and marketers of the dietary supplement, 5 Hour Energy, which would have dismissed a putative nationwide deceptive practices...more

False Labeling Lawsuits Get Hung Up On Faulty Damages Models

Food companies have several significant defenses to consumer fraud class actions over product labeling, say attorneys Joshua Briones and Crystal Lopez, and analyst Grace Rosales. The authors focus on damages, an area in which...more

Ninth Circuit and “Ascertainability”: No “Administratively Feasible” Method of Identifying Class Members Required

On January 3, 2017, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision to grant class certification, finding that, at the class certification stage, Rule 23 does not require plaintiffs to demonstrate that there is an...more

Ninth Circuit Revives “All Natural” Label Class Action, but Affirms Decertification of Damages Class

In an unpublished decision that is significant for both shoppers and consumer food companies, the Ninth Circuit recently reversed a district court’s ruling that the label “All Natural Fruit” is not likely to deceive...more

California Court Denies Stay of Consumer Class Action Challenging “Natural Cheese”

On December 6, 2016, United States District Judge John A. Kronstadt for the Central District of California denied a motion to stay a class action alleging violations of the UCL, FAL, and CLRA against Kraft Foods Group, Inc....more

Briseno v. ConAgra Foods, Inc.: Ninth Circuit Rules That There Need Not Be An Administratively Feasible Way To Identify Class...

In Briseno v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., an opinion issued on January 3, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 does not require plaintiffs challenging the...more

Update on Second Circuit Ruling in Church & Dwight v. SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics “Weeks Estimator” Home Pregnancy Test...

Last month we summarized the Second Circuit’s important decision in a dispute between plaintiff-appellee Church & Dwight and its principal competitor, defendant-appellant SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics, concerning SPD’s...more

New actions based on ‘nothing artificial’ labels may be halted as FDA redefines ‘natural’

I previously wrote about Thornton v. Pinnacle Foods Group LLC, No. 4:16-CV-00158-JAR, in which the Eastern District of Missouri refused to dismiss a consumer fraud claim based on “nothing artificial” labels on boxes of Duncan...more

Expansion of Liability in Product Labeling Cases

An unprecedented surge in consumer fraud lawsuits over the last several years has consumers and lawyers closely scrutinizing product labels and advertisements. While many of these claims challenge the veracity of “Organic,”...more

Missouri appellate court rejects ‘ingredient list’ defense in food labeling case

As Missouri’s reputation as a plaintiff-friendly venue increases, a state appellate court has dealt a blow to food manufacturers facing suits under the state’s consumer fraud statute regarding claims made on their products’...more

“Slack Fill” Class Action Is Empty Space

We never heard the term “slack fill” before we started writing for this blog, but it seems to be getting a lot of attention lately. We enjoyed a podcast from NPR’s Planet Money the other day discussing slack fill in black...more

S.D. Cal. Shows No Love for Aphrodisiac Class Certification

A class action claiming that a diet supplement was falsely advertised as being an aphrodisiac cries out for bad jokes and silly puns. Are we above all that? Er… sure. The supplement is called IntenseX. (Get it? Why don’t...more

Product Liability Update: October 2016

Massachusetts Federal Court Dismisses Putative Class Action Because Defendant’s Unconditional Checks for Named Plaintiff’s Maximum Damages, Even Though Uncashed, Mooted Suit - In Demmler v. ACH Food Companies, Civil No....more

Another Reason Why Medical Device Class Actions Don’t Work

The Ninth Circuit filed a preemption opinion the other day that should help prevent the “foodification” of medical device litigation. That made-up word refers to the wasteful food-related class action litigation that has...more

2016 Updates to Ediscovery for Defendants Cheat Sheet

We’ve been remiss in updating our cheat sheet devoted to ediscovery for defendants. Because of the broad nature of the topic – these cases can and do arise in a wide variety of non-drug/device contexts – we have to research...more

Advertising Law - July 2016 #3

Wikipedia Link Trips up Ninth Circuit False Ad Suit - Ruling that a California federal court incorrectly relied upon a Wikipedia link when considering a summary judgment motion in a false advertising suit, the Ninth...more

Another Off-Label Promotion Third Party Payor Case Lacks Causation

July in D.C. is hot and sticky. When scorching day follows scorching day, area residents look forward to evening thunderstorms, not just to water otherwise thirsty lawns and gardens but to cool things down. Lightning can be...more

In Limine Gag Orders – Can We Play, Too?

Lately, we’ve seen some plaintiffs add gag order requests to their complement of in limine motions in advance of significant trials. Those of us who participated in the Bone Screw litigation remember plaintiffs attempting –...more

Can Plaintiffs Sue a “Celebrity Spokesperson”?

We’ve thought a lot about the various secondary entities that plaintiffs sometimes sue in prescription medical product liability litigation – such as sales reps, physicians, hospitals, pharmacies, distributors, and a number...more

A Tall Drink of Water: Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Costco VitaRain Class Action on Plausibility and Causation Grounds

On May 5, 2016, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision to dismiss, without leave to amend, a class action complaint alleging a violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act against Costco for the...more

California Plaintiffs Say that Size Matters: Consumer Fraud Class Action Challenges Slack-Fill in Protein Products

According to named plaintiffs in a consumer fraud action filed in December in the Southern District of California, size matters when making it comes to making a purchase. In fact, Plaintiffs claim that the average consumer’s...more

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