If the summer slide and the start of school kept you too busy to follow what’s going on in the food scene, we hear you! Catch up on key developments below in this issue of our Food Industry Litigation and Regulatory Highlights.
The Courts Were Kind to the Food Industry This Summer
This summer brought a series of class action victories to the food industry, including a trio of decisions from the Second and Ninth Circuits, both long-time hot beds for false advertising class actions, as well as four dismissals from the Southern District of New York.
At the appellate level, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action challenging Starbucks’ claim that its drinks are the “best coffee for you” and that its coffee is “watched over … from the farm to you,” despite the use of pesticides to kill roaches at certain retail locations. The Court ruled that the challenged claims were not specific enough to misrepresent a quality or characteristic of Starbucks’ coffee, and that no reasonable consumer would interpret them to suggest anything about the use of pesticides in Starbucks’ stores.
The Ninth Circuit decertified a class of consumers claiming that Coca-Cola falsely labels its drinks as having no artificial flavors when they contain phosphoric acid, ruling that consumers lacked standing to pursue injunctive relief. According to the Court, the plaintiffs’ claims that they “would consider purchasing” Coke in the future if certain disclosures were included or if the product’s labels were truthful were insufficient to show an actual or imminent threat of future harm.
Continue Reading Food Industry Litigation and Regulatory Highlights, July – September 2021