Starbucks False Advertising Case Dismissed: Yes, Cold Drinks Contain Ice

Starbucks False Advertising Case Dismissed: Yes, Cold Drinks Contain Ice

(Okay– so this one isn’t specifically a “cosmetics” case– but its provides some good “Take Away” points) Last Friday (Aug. 19, 2016), a California federal judge dismissed a proposed class action against Starbucks based on its purported trickery of under filling its cups with actual liquid, explaining that a reasonable consumer would expect a cold drink to include both the liquid and ice.  In its order the court determined:

Starbucks has not stated that its Cold Drinks contain a specific amount of liquid. Instead, Starbucks has stated that its iced drinks, which contain some amount of liquid and some amount of ice, are offered for sale in cups of various sizes.

Continue reading “Starbucks False Advertising Case Dismissed: Yes, Cold Drinks Contain Ice”

Court Dismissals of “Made in USA” Class Actions

Two cases involving allegations that companies falsely labeled their products as “Made in USA” and thereby violated California’s “Made in USA” statute have recently been dismissed.  In April, the Southern District Court of California dismissed all claims against Heinz.  Then, earlier this month on June 6, the Central District Court of California dismissed all claims against Stearn’s Products.  In both cases, the issue came down to the fact the plaintiff simply did not adequately allege facts to state a claim under the law.  Importantly, in the Stearn’s case, the court also ruled that the new version of California’s “Made in USA” law applies retroactively to products put in the marketplace prior to January 1, 2016. Continue reading “Court Dismissals of “Made in USA” Class Actions”

“Made in USA” Right to Cure Legislation — Show Your Support for AB 2827

“Made in USA” Right to Cure Legislation — Show Your Support for AB 2827

Last month’s round table discussion at EO Products was very insightful and now there is a piece of legislation that needs your support.  As I previously discussed here, a significant number of companies doing business in California are facing frivolous class action lawsuits and threats of litigation because of their use of a “Made in USA” claim on their products.  Many of the companies do in fact meet the standard required under current law, but that hasn’t stopped plaintiffs’ attorneys.  In an effort to battle such frivolous suits, Assembly Member Marc Levine has introduced AB 2827 to provide companies with a right to cure period, including agreeing to make prospective changes to allegedly offending labels.  Below is language you may use to write to your representatives in the California legislature.  Not located in California? No problem– share this with any trade associations you are a member of or share it with your friends located in California.  Ask them to write their representatives.  I hope you will show your support.  Continue reading ““Made in USA” Right to Cure Legislation — Show Your Support for AB 2827″

California’s New “Made in USA” — Not Stopping Onslaught of New Litigation Based on Prior Conduct

California’s New “Made in USA” — Not Stopping Onslaught of New Litigation Based on Prior Conduct

During the 2015 legislative session,  California’s legislature amended its “Made in USA” law (previously discussed here) with SB 633.  Under the new law, effective January 1, 2016, products sold in California may legally be labeled with a “Made in USA” claim as long as certain conditions are met (discussed below).  Unfortunately, however, over the last 6 months, class action plaintiffs’ attorneys have sent hundreds of food and cosmetics companies letters threatening class action lawsuits unless the companies agree to hefty settlements.  And unfortunately, for many of the companies being threatened, it does not seem to matter whether the companies are manufacturing their products in California (or other U.S. states), sourcing their components from U.S. distributors, and otherwise seem to be in compliance with new law…or even the old.  But some companies are not taking it laying down. One such company, EO Products, is seeking legislative assistance and is holding a round table discussion with an Assembly member to discuss what appears to be frivolous litigation.  Would you like to participate? Continue reading “California’s New “Made in USA” — Not Stopping Onslaught of New Litigation Based on Prior Conduct”

California’s “Made in USA” Law Upheld as Neither Unconstitutional nor Preempted

California’s “Made in USA” Law Upheld as Neither Unconstitutional nor Preempted

In the case Louise Clark v. Citizens of Humanity LLC et al., case number 3:14-cv-01404, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, in denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss, the court concluded that California’s “Made in USA” law, Business & Professions Code section 17533.7, is neither unconstitutional nor preempted by federal law. Continue reading “California’s “Made in USA” Law Upheld as Neither Unconstitutional nor Preempted”

“Handmade” Claims Next Target for Class Action Litigation?

“Handmade” Claims Next Target for Class Action Litigation?

In December 2014, Maker’s Mark was hit with a putative class action lawsuit challenging its use of the claim “Handmade.” According to the complaint, Maker’s Mark Whisky’s manufacturing process uses a mechanized and/or automated process with little to no human supervision, assistance, or involvement.  If the whiskey was originally “handmade,”  does the subsequent mechanization cause the original product to no longer be “handmade”? For that matter, what does “handmade” mean? Does it have value as a marketing term? Maker’s Mark is not the first company to have its “handmade” claims challenged, and according to the lawsuits, products labeled as “handmade” sell for a premium. Thus, could “handmade” claims be the next target for significant class action litigation? Continue reading ““Handmade” Claims Next Target for Class Action Litigation?”

Looking Good in the Eyes of the Law: 2015 Cosmetics Compliance Seminar

Looking Good in the Eyes of the Law: 2015 Cosmetics Compliance Seminar

Join us for a day and a half legal seminar devoted to the cosmetics industry on April 17-18, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Continue reading “Looking Good in the Eyes of the Law: 2015 Cosmetics Compliance Seminar”