Morrison & Foerster LLP - Private Surgeon General, Class Action Defender

A Handmade Dismissal for Maker’s Mark

A recent decision from the Southern District of California demonstrates the uphill battle consumer lawsuits face when challenging “handmade” or “handcrafted” labels on alcoholic beverages. On July 27, 2015, in Nowrouzi et al…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection, Personal Injury, Products Liability

Rescue Remedy Decision Confirms that CLRA Notice Requirement Has Real Teeth

A recent decision from the Southern District of California demonstrates the potential narrowing effect of a failure to strictly comply with the notice requirement for claims for damages under California’s Consumers Legal…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection

Ninth Circuit Reverses Class Certification In Joint Supplement Case Because Not All Class Members Saw Misrepresentation

The Ninth Circuit has held that a district court abused its discretion in certifying a class based on allegedly false health claims because not all class members saw the advertising. The Ninth Circuit said that the trial court…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Personal Injury, Products Liability

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
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Communications & Media Law, Products Liability

USDA to Verify Non-GMO Claims

There is now a U.S. Department of Agriculture label for non-GMO claims. In a recent memo, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA would verify non-GMO claims through the Agricultural Marketing Service’s…more
| Administrative Law, Agriculture, Products Liability

POM Wonderful Inc. v. FTC: Lessons Learned

On January 30, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an opinion in a case regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) challenge to the advertisements of POM Wonderful’s (“POM”)…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Constitutional Law, Consumer Protection

Plaintiff’s Mislabeling Claims Against Honest Tea Survive Motion to Dismiss

On January 5, 2015 Judge Kimberly Mueller of the Eastern District of California denied Honest Tea’s motion to dismiss a case involving accusations that the company misled consumers about the antioxidant content of one of its…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, Consumer Protection

Kimberly-Clark Corporation Wins Motion to Dismiss in Flushable Wipes Case

Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the Northern District of California recently granted Kimberly-Clark’s motion to dismiss a case challenging the truthfulness of the defendant’s claims that its wipes are flushable. Davidson v…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Products Liability

Judge Koh Awards Double Victory in “Natural” Labeling Class Action Against Dole, Granting Decertification and Summary Judgment

As the food “misbranding” litigation continues to fill courts’ dockets, Judge Lucy H. Koh recently put an end to the two-year battle against Dole’s packaged fruit labeling in the Northern District of California. Dole…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection, Products Liability

Judge Illston Finds Proof of Injunctive Standing and Consumer Deception Lacking in Consumer Challenge to Mott’s 100% Apple Juice Labels

Judge Illston’s recent summary judgment ruling in Rahman v. Mott’s LLP, Case No. CV 13-3482 SI (N.D. Cal. Oct. 14, 2014), highlights courts’ varied approaches to the level of proof required to demonstrate Article III injunctive…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Communications & Media Law, Constitutional Law, Consumer Protection

Pom Wonderful Drops Ninth Circuit Appeal of State Claims Filed Against Coca-Cola

On September 19, 2014, Pom Wonderful, LLC dropped its Ninth Circuit appeal of a ruling that dismissed its state deceptive advertising and unfair competition claims against Coca-Cola, a sibling case to a recent Supreme Court…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Conflict of Laws, Products Liability

Vermont GMO Food Labeling Law Challengers Seek Preliminary Injunction

In the court battle to have Vermont’s genetically modified organism (GMO) food labeling law (Act 120) overturned, plaintiff trade associations filed a motion for preliminary injunction on September 11, 2014, seeking to enjoin…more
| Agriculture, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection, Products Liability

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

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
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection, Products Liability

Class Action Suit Against Sunflower Seed Manufacturer Dismissed as Implausible

In a recent food mislabeling case, Judge Manuel Real of the Central District of California dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit finding the plaintiffs’ claims to be implausible as a matter of law. Last year, Judge Real and…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection, Products Liability

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. 1,…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection, Products Liability
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