Proskauer on Advertising Law
Proskauer on Advertising Law

Tag Archives: Class Action

Cricket Wireless’s Bid to Enforce Arbitration Clause Against Customers Met with Mediocre Reception

On November 3, 2015, Judge Alsup of the Northern District of California denied Cricket Wireless’s motion to enforce an arbitration clause against customers who say they never saw or agreed to the clause. Plaintiffs allege that Cricket falsely advertised “UNLIMITED 4G/LTE services throughout the United States” when the network was capable of providing that coverage … Continue Reading

Staying Natural: Hain Label Dispute Must Wait for Ninth Circuit Decisions

A district judge in the Northern District of California pressed pause on a mislabeling suit involving “natural” claims pending the outcome of two Ninth Circuit appeals. Astiana v. The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., et al., No. 11-cv-06342 (PJH) (N.D. Cal.) is a putative class action in which the consumer plaintiffs alleged that Hain misleadingly labeled … Continue Reading

With Circuits Mis-Aligned, Sixth Circuit Stays Class Certification Pending Appeal

As our readers may remember, Procter & Gamble (“P&G”) stomached a loss last August when the Sixth Circuit affirmed certification of a false advertising class action regarding P&G’s Align probiotic supplement. But on October 27, the Sixth Circuit stayed its decision pending P&G’s petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court. As discussed below, P&G contends … Continue Reading

Ruling Allows Gerber False Advertising Suit to Crawl Onward

For plaintiffs concerned that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ June 19, 2015 decision in Brown v. GNC Corp. signaled the muscling in of a stricter new pleading standard for false advertising class actions nationwide, a recent ruling out of the Central District of California likely acted as a pacifier. On July 14, 2015, U.S. … Continue Reading

Out of Align-ment: Sixth Circuit Affirms Class Certification in Probiotics Case

A recent Sixth Circuit decision that affirmed certification of a multi-state consumer class action asserting false advertising claims concerning Align – a Proctor & Gamble probiotic product promising digestive health benefits – has left us with an uneasy feeling in the pit of our stomachs. In Rikos v. P&G, the judge writing the opinion of … Continue Reading

Makers’ Mark Two: Bourbon Distiller Slips another “Handmade” False Advertising Suit

In another blow to the class action plaintiff’s bar, a court in the Southern District of California has dismissed a false advertising class action against Maker’s Mark for describing its product as “handmade.” We recently covered a similar case involving the same bourbon and “handmade” claim in the Northern District of Florida, which was also … Continue Reading

Clarification for Class Action Settlements May Be on the Line As Supreme Court Grants Cert in TCPA Case

Last year, in Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Co., No. 13-55486, 2014 WL 4654478 (9th Cir. Sept. 19, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that offers of complete relief made to individual plaintiffs under Fed. R. Civ. P. 68 do not moot either individual or class claims. This holding mirrors decisions by … Continue Reading

Beer-Maker Puts an End to Brewhaha: Anheuser Busch Agrees to Settle Second of Two Class Action Lawsuits over Beer Origin Disclaimers

Anheuser Busch recently agreed to settle a consumer class action over Beck’s Beer labeling that we previously reported on with regard to the uptick in consumer class actions proceeding past the pleading stage in the Southern District of Florida. Marty et al. v. Anheuser-Busch Cos., 13-cv-23656-JJO (S.D. Fla.). Anheuser-Busch’s decision to settle the Beck’s suit … Continue Reading

Maker’s Marketing: Bourbon Distiller Racks up “Handmade” False Advertising Victory

In a decision that will interest distillers and hipster connoisseurs of artisanal beverages alike, a district court in the Northern District of Florida has decided that Maker’s Mark can describe its whiskey as “handmade” despite the fact that it is produced in industrial quantities to serve the national market. Accordingly, the court refused to allow … Continue Reading

In Consumer Class Actions, Discovery is not Insured

Consumer class action defendants in New Jersey state courts may be able to avoid costly discovery following a New Jersey state appeals court’s recent affirmance of a pre-discovery denial of class action certification in Myska v. New Jersey Manufacturers Co. The putative class alleged that the defendants violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act by improperly … Continue Reading

A Court in the Sunshine State Blocks Injunctive Relief against Neutrogena Sunscreen Claims; Meanwhile P&G Cannot Flush Charmin Claims for the Same Relief in New York

Assume the following: plaintiff brings a putative class action under state consumer protection laws alleging that he bought a product based on false claims on its packaging. He seeks monetary and injunctive relief. However, plaintiff vows never to buy the product displaying the allegedly false advertising again or cannot purchase the product so-labeled because the … Continue Reading

Tomorrow is Another One-A-Day: FDA Guidelines Preempt Vitamin Claims, but Consumer Class Still Has Opportunity to Supplement

Although consumer class actions in California are dime-a-dozen, a recent Northern District of California case involving One A Day vitamins stands out because it demonstrates how federal regulations can preempt certain state law claims regarding the health benefits of dietary supplements. The putative class alleged that three statements made by Bayer on their One A … Continue Reading

Tripping the Light Cran-tastic: Ocean Spray Washes Away Attempted Class Certification

Class certification in false advertising cases often fails due to problems with the class itself such as ascertainability. But what happens when a class action plaintiff admits she didn’t rely upon the purportedly deceptive claims in making her purchasing decision? A recent decision in California’s “food court” may provide an answer. In Major v. Ocean … Continue Reading

No Longer at Lager-Heads: Anheuser-Busch Settles Claim over Kirin Beer’s Origin

Early this year, Anheuser-Busch settled a class suit filed against it by two Miami residents who alleged that the company was deceptively advertising Kirin beer as imported from Japan, when in fact it is brewed in the United States using domestic ingredients. The plaintiffs, Lady J. Suarez and Gustavo E. Oliva, claimed they had each … Continue Reading

Made in the USA?: Suit Against Nordstorm Alleging Misleading Jeans Labels May Proceed

How much of a product has to be “Made in the USA” for a company to label it as such, and who gets to decide? Those questions are raised by an ongoing class action lawsuit before a federal court in the Southern District of California. In Paz v. AG Adriano Goldschmied, Inc., plaintiffs allege that Nordstrom … Continue Reading

(Baby)Food for Thought: In Alleging Unlawful and Misleading Product Labeling, Plaintiff Needed More Than One Gerber Baby

Last month, Judge Lucy H. Koh of the Northern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of Gerber because the plaintiff failed to satisfy the “reasonable consumer standard” in backing up her allegations that Gerber baby food labeling was misleading in violation of California state law. The case illustrates an important threshold to the reasonable … Continue Reading

Consumer Class Actions Brewing in Florida as Federal Courts Deny a Series of Motions to Dismiss

While California historically has a reputation as the most plaintiff-friendly forum for alleged consumer class action deceptive advertising cases, Florida is emerging as stiff competition for the title after a recent trio of orders denying motions to dismiss consumer fraud actions emerged out of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. … Continue Reading

Wasted Away in Margaritaville: With Unascertainable Class, District Court Denies Class Certification in Skinnygirl Margarita Case

Alleging violations of Illinois statutory and common law, Amy Langendorf brought suit on behalf of “Any and all persons who purchased ‘Skinnygirl’ Margarita spirits in Illinois from March 1, 2009 until the date notice is disseminated” against Skinnygirl Cocktails, LLC, Bethenny Frankel, SGC Global, LLC, and Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. According to Langendorf, … Continue Reading

What KIND of Juice Did They Say It Was?

On July 14, 2014, Northern District of Illinois Judge Sara L. Ellis dealt a blow to putative class action members protesting the use of “evaporated cane juice” to describe sugar in product ingredients lists.  Plaintiff alleged that she was deceived by the label on KIND’s Vanilla Blueberry Clusters, which contained the claim “no refined sugars” … Continue Reading

Two Consumer Class Actions Settle for (Mostly) Nominal Amounts Per Plaintiff

Two recent false advertising class action settlements illustrate some of the myriad ways to structure settlements, and also reflect the real risks of these lawsuits when early-stage efforts to dismiss them are unsuccessful. In Reid et al. v. Unilever United States, Inc., No. 12-C-06058 (E.D. Ill.), plaintiffs sought to recover from economic and personal injuries … Continue Reading

Cracking Under Pressure: “Raw” Juice Class Action down the Drain after Plaintiffs Cite Articles that Squeeze the Life out of their Complaint

On July 2, 2014 Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed a class action alleging that Hain Celestial Group, a manufacturer of “raw” juices, misleadingly labelled and advertised its wares. This dismissal is noteworthy – and should stand as a cautionary tale – because the class plaintiffs eviscerated their own claims and pleaded themselves out of court by … Continue Reading

Courts In 9th Circuit Continue To Split On Ascertainability: “All Natural” Class Action Dies On the Vine But Sexual Energy Supplement Suit Has Staying Power

On June 13, 2014, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California, issued an order denying class certification to a putative class of consumers who had purchased ConAgra food products labeled as “natural,” finding that the putative class was unascertainable due to the lack of purchase records or any other reliable … Continue Reading

Social Media Class Actions Buy the Farm(Ville): Ninth Circuit Dismisses Consumer Claims Against Zynga and Facebook for Sharing User Information with Advertisers

Farmville is a game that celebrates the digital harvest: players earn Farm Coins by diligently and systematically harvesting their virtual crops. Yet a different kind of digital harvest – the harvest of user data – was at the heart of two unsuccessful class action suits users filed against Facebook and Zynga. While the Ninth Circuit … Continue Reading

Third Circuit to Putative Class Action Plaintiffs: No Receipt, No Class Cert

On May 2nd, the Third Circuit declined to rehear en banc its 2013 decision to reverse class certification in Carrera v. Bayer Corp, which created a big hurdle for would-be plaintiffs bringing suit in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware who fail to keep records of their retail purchases. In Carrera, the plaintiff brought what was … Continue Reading
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