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

FDA Extends Comment Period on “Natural” Food Labeling by 90 Days

In November we reported that the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was seeking public comments on the use of the term “natural” on food labeling, including foods that are genetically engineered or that…more
| Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection, Products Liability

Stand Down! Court Rejects Yakult Yogurt False Advertising Class for Lack of Standing

On January 5, 2016, in Torrent v. Yakult U.S.A., Inc., U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney denied the plaintiff’s motion to certify a class of Yakult yogurt consumers who were allegedly misled by Yakult’s packaging and…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Communications & Media Law, Constitutional Law, Consumer Protection

No Soup for You! Judge Denies Preliminary Approval of Settlement in CJ Foods’ Annie Chun Soup Case

A recent decision from the Southern District of California highlights two challenges with obtaining preliminary approval of nationwide food misbranding class action settlements. On December 16, 2015, in Peterson v. CJ America,…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection

Trader Joe’s Wins Dismissal of Soymilk Products Mislabeling Claims

On December 2, 2015, Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California dismissed with prejudice claims that grocery retailer Trader Joe’s violated California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) by using the term “soymilk”…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection

Sales Data Alone Insufficient to Support CAFA Jurisdiction in Gerber’s Graduates Puffs Labeling Case

In Gyorke-Takatri v. Nestle USA, Inc., the United States District Court for the Northern District of California held that parties in a class action seeking to remove an action to federal court must provide sufficient admissible…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection

Consumers Win Class Certification in Sturm Foods’ Grove Square Coffee Pod Suit

An Illinois federal judge recently certified a class of consumers who allege that Sturm Foods and its parent company Treehouse Foods Inc. marketed their Grove Square Coffee pods for use in Keurig Inc. brewers—and designed them…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection

False Advertising Suit Regarding Plum Organics Mighty 4 Puree Pouches Dismissed

On November 2, 2015, Judge Alsup of the Northern District of California dismissed a consumer class action against food manufacturer Plum Organics for failure to state a claim. In Workman et al. v. Plum Inc., D/B/A Plum Organics,…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection

Blue Diamond and WhiteWave Win Dismissal of Injunctive Relief Claim for Almond Milk Products

A recent decision from the Southern District of New York demonstrates the challenges consumers face in seeking injunctive relief on behalf of a class. On October 21, 2015, in Albert et al. v. Blue Diamond Growers, et al., Case…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Communications & Media Law

Ninth Circuit Holds That Google AdWords Class Can Go Forward, Despite Individualized Damages Calculations

In Pulaski & Middleman v. Google, Inc., the Ninth Circuit recently held that a class could be certified in connection with Google AdWords, even though damages would require some individualized calculations…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Science, Computers, & Technology

“Food” Courts Confirm That Price Premium Is the Proper Measure of Damages in Misbranding Cases

The flurry of food mislabeling class actions filed in California federal courts has recently come to a halt under the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Comcast v. Beherend. Comcast requires that putative class action plaintiffs…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection

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
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