Topic Archives: Food Misbranding

Lead Plaintiff Spreads Her Misleading Butter Case a Little Too Thin

In April, a New York federal court denied certification for a purported class alleging that Johnson & Johnson misled customers by placing the words “no trans fat” on labels for its Benecol buttery spreads. See Bowling v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., 1:17-cv-03892, S.D.N.Y. 2017. The court’s order focused on issues highly specific to the ...›

Mixed Results on Class Certification for “Cereal” Plaintiff

In Hadley v. Kellogg Sales Company, Plaintiff Stephen Hadley, who has filed at least two additional lawsuits alleging the mislabeling of breakfast foods, sought certification of four California subclasses of purchasers of Kellogg’s cereal and cereal bar products.  On August 17, 2018, Judge Koh issued an order that carefully dissected Plaintiff’s request.  The court concluded ...›

February 23, 2018False Advertising, Food Misbranding

Second Time Is Not  The Charm: Judge Koh Slams Plaintiff’s Second Bid for Class Certification in Baby Food Case

On remand from the Ninth Circuit, Judge Koh nixed a plaintiff’s second attempt to certify a nationwide class of Gerber’s baby food purchasers. Her decision is notable for two reasons.  First, in denying plaintiff’s Rule 23(b)(2) injunctive relief class based on changes to Gerber’s product labels, Judge Koh adds to the factual predicates necessary for ...›

September 27, 2017False Advertising, Food Misbranding

The Ninth Circuit’s Food Court Menu: A Status Update

A few years back, the Northern District of California was dubbed the “food court” based on the influx of food misbranding class actions claiming that alleged FDA regulatory infractions constituted violations of California consumer deception statutes.  The first cases in the misbranding pack were appealed to the Ninth Circuit, with plaintiffs challenging district courts’ denials ...›

The Revival of ECJ Lawsuits: Sweet Tooth For Plaintiffs, or Toothless Claims?

Introduction.  On May 22, 2017, plaintiff Jessica Gomez filed an opposition on behalf of a putative class of consumers urging a federal district court judge not to dismiss her lawsuit against Jelly Belly Co. (“Jelly Belly”) for allegedly misleading consumers by listing “evaporated cane juice” (ECJ) instead of “sugar” in the ingredient list of its ...›

Ninth Circuit Revives Gerber Baby Food Class Action

Bruton v. Gerber, No. 15-15174.  The district court had dismissed Plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim, denied class certification for lack of an “ascertainable class,” and granted summary judgment to Gerber because Plaintiff lacked evidence of deception.  The Ninth Circuit reversed the rulings and remanded the case. Background of the Case.  Plaintiff alleged that the labels on ...›

Judge Koh Issues First Blow to “Added Sugars” Plaintiffs

The Big Picture:  On Tuesday, Judge Koh granted Kellogg’s Motion to Dismiss in its entirety in Hadley v. Kellogg Sales Company, No. 5:16-cv-04955-LHK (N.D. Cal.).  Hadley is one of three cases[1] against well-known cereal makers pending in the Northern District of California.  All three actions challenge various factually true “health” representations on the cereal packaging ...›

Flame

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 administratively feasible way to determine who is in the putative class. ...›