Proskauer on Advertising Law
Proskauer on Advertising Law

Category Archives: Class Actions

Decisions and trends in false advertising class actions.

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Survey Evidence in Amended Complaint Does Not Add Enough Juice to Save “Natural” Claims Against Mott’s Apple Products

Judge Beth Freeman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently dismissed with prejudice a putative class action alleging that Mott’s apple-based products were deceptively labeled “Natural” and as containing “All Natural Ingredients.” Yu v. Dr Pepper Snapple Group, No. 18-cv-06664-BLF (N.D. Cal. Oct. 6, 2020). In doing so, Judge Freeman … Continue Reading

Split Eleventh Circuit Panel Eliminates Incentive Awards for Class Representatives

Recently, in a split decision, the Eleventh Circuit reversed a district court’s incentive award to the named plaintiff in a class action alleging willful violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. In doing so, it may have rung the death knell on class action incentive awards in that Circuit. Dickenson v. NPAS Solutions, No. 18-12344 … Continue Reading

Conagra Slips Away from Parkay Oil Spray Serving Size Claims

Conagra Brands recently emerged victorious when Judge William H. Orrick of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted summary judgment in its favor, tossing claims that the company disguises the fat and calorie content of its Parkay Spray vegetable oil spray product (“Parkay”) with artificially small serving sizes. Allen v. Conagra … Continue Reading

Judge Dunks Plaintiffs’ Claims and Dismisses Oreo False Advertising Lawsuit

Judge Edward R. Korman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently granted Mondelēz Global’s motion to dismiss a putative class action challenging the advertising for its signature Oreo cookies. Harris v. Mondelēz Global, No. 19-cv-2249-ERK (E.D.N.Y. July 28, 2020). Plaintiffs alleged the Oreo manufacturer’s front label statement “Always Made … Continue Reading

Court Gives Vanilla Ice Cream False Advertising Claims a Frosty Reception

Judge Louis L. Stanton of the Southern District of New York recently granted defendant Wegmans Food Markets’motion to dismiss claims alleging that Wegmans falsely labels its vanilla ice cream. Plaintiffs sued Wegmans for false advertising, negligent misrepresentation, and deceptive acts in violation of federal and state law, alleging that despite labeling its product “vanilla ice … Continue Reading

Split Ninth Circuit Panel Vacates $24M Judgment in Hospital Gown Advertising Class Action

A split Ninth Circuit panel recently overturned a $24 million judgment in a class action lawsuit against Kimberly-Clark and its spinoff, Halyard Health. Bahamas Surgery Center v. Kimberly-Clark et al., No. 18-55478 (9th Cir. July 23, 2020). Plaintiff class representative Bahamas Surgery Center accused the defendants of misrepresenting the effectiveness of their surgical gowns at … Continue Reading

Burger King Wins “Whopper” of a Case: Federal Court Finds No Promise of Method of Preparation in Advertisements for Meatless Burger

Judge Raag Singhal of the Southern District of Florida recently granted Burger King’s motion to dismiss a putative class action challenging its advertising for its plant-based “Impossible Burger,” and its motion to deny class certification. Williams v. Burger King, No. 19-24755 (S.D. Fla. July 20, 2020). Plaintiffs alleged Burger King’s advertisements for its non-meat “Impossible … Continue Reading

Added Allegations of Consumer Survey Results Fail to Sweeten the Deal: Court Dismisses “White Chips” False Advertising Suit With Prejudice

We previously blogged about the dismissal without prejudice of a putative consumer class action alleging that the well-known confectioner Ghirardelli misled consumers into believing its “Premium Baking Chips Classic White Chips” contained white chocolate. Last month, Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the Northern District of California once again dismissed plaintiffs’ claims against Ghirardelli – this … Continue Reading

Court Decides Motion to Dismiss Crystal Light “No Artificial Flavors” Labeling Suit Lacks Juice

Last month, Judge Dale S. Fischer of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denied Kraft Heinz’s motion to dismiss a putative nationwide class action alleging Kraft falsely advertised its “Crystal Light” drink products as containing no artificial flavors when, according to plaintiffs, they contain synthetic DL-Malic Acid. Narguess Noohi v. The … Continue Reading

Court Tosses Hogwash Claims, OKs Pork Producer’s Use of “Prime” in Advertising

Judge Paul C. Huck of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently granted a motion to dismiss brought by Defendants The Fresh Market and Tyson Fresh Meats in a putative consumer class action alleging that defendants deceptively marketed their “Chairman’s Reserve Prime Pork” product as graded prime by the federal Department … Continue Reading

First Circuit Affirms No Duty to Disclose Upstream Labor Abuses on Chocolate Packaging

We recently blogged  about a District of Massachusetts decision holding that it was not deceptive for Nestlé to omit from product labels the (alleged) existence of child labor in its cocoa supply chains. The First Circuit recently affirmed this decision, along with decisions dismissing identical lawsuits against Mars and The Hershey Company. The First Circuit … Continue Reading

No “White” Lie: Plaintiffs Fail to Show Reasonable Consumer Would Expect “White Morsels” to Contain White Chocolate

After the recent dismissal  of nearly identical claims, the same consumer plaintiffs have once again been thwarted in their attempt to challenge labeling and advertising that supposedly misleads consumers into believing the product contains white chocolate. Prescott v. Nestle USA, Inc., No. 19-CV-07471-BLF (N.D. Cal. June 4, 2020). Here, the plaintiffs alleged that Nestle’s use … Continue Reading

A Legen-dairy Victory: Ben & Jerry’s Wins “Happy Cows” False Advertising Lawsuit

Earlier this summer, the District Court of Vermont dismissed a false advertising lawsuit alleging that Ben & Jerry’s claims that it sources dairy products from “happy cows” on “Caring Dairy” farms were materially misleading. Ehlers v. Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, No. 2:19-cv-00194 (D. Vt. 2020). The plaintiff interpreted the “happy cow” and “Caring Dairy” statements … Continue Reading

Judge Dismisses Half-Baked False Advertising Claims Against Ghirardelli

On April 8, 2020, Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted Ghirardelli Chocolate’s motion to dismiss a putative nationwide class action brought by several consumers who alleged Ghirardelli deceptively marketed its “premium classic white” baking chips as containing white chocolate. Cheslow v. Ghirardelli Chocolate, No. 19-CV-07467-PJH, … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Finds No Evidence of Deception in Aloe Vera Gel Labeling Lawsuit

Last month, a Seventh Circuit panel unanimously affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment dismissing a consumer class action alleging that Fruit of the Earth and its retailer clients deceptively labeled aloe vera gel products. Beardsall v. CVS, 19-1850 (7th Cir. Mar. 24, 2020). Defendants’ aloe vera products are labeled as “Aloe Vera 100% … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Finds Consumer Suit Against Dunkin’ Not Well Done

A Second Circuit panel recently affirmed the dismissal of a putative false advertising class action against Dunkin’ Brands, which alleged the company misled consumers as to the contents of products Dunkin’ described as “Angus steak.” Chen v. Dunkin’ Brands, 18-cv-3087 (2d Cir. Mar. 31, 2020). The complaint asserted claims under various state consumer protection laws, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Standing Requirements for Damages Classes

In a decision that will have repercussions for consumer false advertising lawsuits, a Ninth Circuit panel recently ruled in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) case that all class members must have standing at the trial stage of a class action for monetary damages. Ramirez v. TransUnion, LLC, 951 F.3d 1008 (9th Cir. 2020).… Continue Reading

La Croix Loses Rule 11 Battle but Wins War, as Plaintiff Retracts Lawsuit Allegations

National Beverage Corporation, the maker of the popular LaCroix sparkling water products, failed to obtain Rule 11 sanctions against a consumer plaintiff, but ultimately scored a major victory recently, when the plaintiff not only withdrew her lawsuit, but also took the remarkable step of publicly retracting her claims alleging that LaCroix “all natural” and “100% … Continue Reading

Beverage Mislabeling Suit Runs Out of Juice

On February 6, the California Court of Appeals (Second Appellate District) sustained a lower court’s dismissal of a putative class action alleging that the claim “no sugar added” on the label of tangerine juice is deceptive because it falsely implies that competing products do contain added sugar. Schaeffer v. Califia Farms, BC654207 (Cal. App. 2d … Continue Reading

The Fun Did Stop for Pringles False Advertising Class Action

On January 31, 2020, Southern District of New York Judge Alvin Hellerstein denied Plaintiff Matthew Marotto’s motion for reconsideration of an order denying class certification in his lawsuit against Pringles potato chip maker Kellogg over allegedly misleading labeling of Pringles cans. Marotto v. Kellogg, No. 1:18-cv-03545 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 31, 2020).… Continue Reading

Gin Manufacturer Bacardi Avoids Lawsuit for Its Use of “Grains of Paradise”

A federal judge in the Southern District of Florida recently dismissed an action alleging that Bacardi’s use of a botanical called “grains of paradise” in its gin was “harmful and illegal,” holding that the statute on which the lawsuit was based was preempted by federal law. Marrache v. Bacardi U.S.A, 19-cv-23856 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 28, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Confirms Dr Pepper Can Stick to its “Diet”

The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action alleging that defendant Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. (“Dr Pepper”) violated various California consumer fraud laws by using the term “diet” in naming and marketing Diet Dr Pepper. Becerra v. Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., 945 F.3d 1225 (9th Cir. 2019). Plaintiff alleged that this … Continue Reading

Hershey Kisses Chocolate Mislabeling Suit Goodbye

A California federal judge recently handed a victory to the Hershey Co. in a suit alleging the company falsely represented that its Brookside chocolate products have no artificial flavors. Clark v. Hershey Co., 18-cv-06113 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 15, 2019). U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted summary judgment in favor of Hershey on the basis of … Continue Reading
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