Food Litigation Newsletter - October 2014

Perkins Coie

In This Issue:


..Court Narrows “All Natural” Class Action Against Safeway

..Nationwide Class Certified in Olive Oil Labeling Fight

..Whole Foods “All Natural” and “Organic” Labeling Suit to Stay in Federal Court

..Courts Gives Initial OK to Vitaminwater Settlement

..Putative ECJ Class Action Dismissed After Settlement


- Excerpt from Court Narrows “All Natural” Class Action Against Safeway:

Richards v. Safeway, No. 13-cv-04317-JD (N.D. Cal.): Several claims were dismissed from a class action in California federal court against Safeway. On behalf of a putative nationwide class, the lawsuit alleges that Safeway mislabeled its frozen waffles as “100% natural” when they in fact contain a chemical preservative. First, the court held that the plaintiff lacks standing to seek prospective injunctive relief because, now that he knows the products contain a preservative, “he cannot plausibly allege that he would purchase the products in the future even if they were properly labeled.” Second, the court dismissed without prejudice all claims based on statements outside of those on the products’ labels, such as statements on Safeway’s website, because there was no allegation in the complaint that the plaintiff read and relied on any statements outside of the labels. Finally, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim based on the growing consensus that unjust enrichment is not a standalone cause of action under California law and because it was duplicative of the plaintiff’s remaining statutory and common law claims. Plaintiff’s claims for violations of California consumer protection statutes, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express warranty, and breach of contract remain.

Please see full Newsletter below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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