We pride ourselves on understanding the industries and business environments in which our clients operate. It is an understanding that comes from direct, daily involvement in the business. Our lawyers have assisted food processing, food technology and food services companies with a wide range of matters, from litigation to patent and trademark work to transactions of various types. We are a single, valuable resource for the food and beverage industries.
We have handled such matters as an import regulatory project for a major European brewer to securities work for an international tobacco company.
Our recent work
- Obtained a successful jury verdict for a manufacturer of alternative medicine in a US$350 million class action trial involving allegations of false advertising. At trial, while the plaintiffs asserted that certain sleep aids and other remedies were not effective as claimed by our client, the jury found that plaintiffs’ allegations were without merit. The trial began on September 1, 2015, and the jury’s verdict in favor of the defense came 17 days later. We were also successful in defeating the motion for class certification as to the claims that the products were falsely represented as “all-natural.” We successfully settled a similar claim for a nominal amount, and are currently seeking decertification of a third claim based on the plaintiffs’ disavowal of their certified theories of liability following the jury verdict in the first case.
- Successfully defended a national grocery chain in a consumer class action regarding alleged non-compliance with FDA labeling requirements for its private label yogurt. The plaintiff claimed that the company’s Greek yogurt was illegally and misleadingly marketed in violation of the standard of identity, due to the use of a milk ingredient. Our demurrer to the complaint was sustained without leave to amend, and affirmed in a published appellate opinion.
- Defended an olive oil manufacturer in a series of consumer class actions and private attorney general actions alleging that its extra virgin olive oil brands failed to meet quality standards and is improperly labeled as to country of origin. There have been a total of six such cases, four of which have been dismissed, one of which has settled, and the last of which is in litigation in the Northern District of California but has been stayed pending the Ninth Circuit’s anticipated rulings in three pending appeals of consumer class action lawsuits. We have also defended a national grocery chain in parallel cases over its private label olive oils.
- Defended a produce company in a consumer class action in the Central District of California, in which the plaintiff alleged that the company’s tomatoes were misleadingly packaged to deceive consumers as to the amount of product in the container. The case was abandoned by plaintiff following an order granting our motion to dismiss the complaint.