Category Archives: California

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Even Former Judges Can Be Exposed to False Advertising Liability

You think judges are immune to lawsuits? Think again, especially if you are a retired judge seeking to resolve disputes in the private alternative dispute resolution (ADR) business. A San Diego jury is being asked to decide whether former California Court of Appeal Justice Sheila Sonenshine and ADR powerhouse JAMS, Inc. are liable for false … Continue Reading

Springtime for Food Marketers? Two Big Wins in California in Recent Days

The coming of spring has been accompanied by good news for two food marketers—ConAgra and Bumble Bee Foods—in their respective court fights in California. In the Northern District of California, a federal judge dismissed a putative class action against ConAgra alleging that the marketer’s Crunch N’ Munch product violated California’s unfair competition law since it … Continue Reading

Don’t Import Compliance Troubles—New Supply Chain Law Goes into Effect

In March, a new federal law quietly went into effect that places additional pressure on importers to develop compliance systems for their supply chains, including identification of items potentially made with forced labor. The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (Trade Act) prohibits the import into the United States of goods, wares, articles, … Continue Reading

Consumer’s Green Tea Class Action De-Caffeinated

C.S. Lewis once wrote that “[t]ea should be taken in solitude.”  A California federal court agrees, ruling Tuesday that a consumer’s false labeling claims against tea manufacturer R.C. Bigelow could not proceed as a class action due to the lack of an acceptable classwide damages model as well as standing. The consumer’s complaint targeted two … Continue Reading

CA Agency Proposes Emergency Bisphenol A (BPA) Exposure Warning Regulation, Maximum Allowable Dose Level for BPA

CA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment proposes both an emergency regulation to allow temporary use of a standard point-of-sale warning message for BPA exposures from canned and bottled foods and beverages, and a Proposition 65 Maximum Allowable Dose Level for BPA On March 17, 2016, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) … Continue Reading

Have You Evaluated Your Products and Product Packaging for BPA Content? A Prop 65 Warning is Required Beginning in May

Marketers of consumer products, including foods, beverages, dietary supplements, OTC drugs, and cosmetics, should be evaluating their products, including product packaging, for the presence of bisphenol A (BPA) without delay. On May 12, 2016, the one-year grace period permitted by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) ends, and companies whose products expose California consumers … Continue Reading

Aloe Vera (Non-Decolorized Whole Leaf Extract) and Goldenseal Root Powder Now Included on California’s Proposition 65 List

  Countless Cosmetic and Dietary Supplement Products Implicated Effective Friday, December 4, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) listed Aloe vera (non-decolorized whole leaf extract) and goldenseal root powder as carcinogens on its list of Chemicals known to the State of California to Cause Cancer or Reproductive Toxicity (Proposition 65 List), pursuant to the … Continue Reading

Postscript to Luna v. Shac LLC: Human Intervention Still Precludes Finding That Strip Club’s Dialing Platform Constitutes an Autodialer Under the TCPA

Last month, we blogged about the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California’s recent decision entered in Luna v. Shac, LLC, — F. Supp. 3d –, No. 14-cv-00607 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 19, 2015), which awarded summary judgment to the defendant-gentleman’s club in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class action.  You can read that post … Continue Reading

Yahoo! Says Yahoo! In Defeating Class Certification in TCPA Texting Case

In a big win for Yahoo!, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California denied certification of a putative class in a suit alleging that Yahoo! violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  The litigation arose out of claims that Yahoo! spam-texted consumers by allowing its users to send text messages from a … Continue Reading

Court Holds That Human Intervention Covers Strip Club From Liability in TCPA Autodialer Class Action

On August 19, 2015, in Luna v. SHAC, LLC, No. 5:14-cv-00607 (N.D. Cal.), the Northern District of California issued one of the first decisions interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (“TCPA”) definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” (i.e., autodialer) following the FCC’s July 2015 omnibus TCPA order.  Luna may serve as guidepost for future litigants, … Continue Reading

Court Grants Class Cert. in Deceptive Pricing Action Against Clothing Retailer

We all love a good bargain, but sometimes a good deal seems too good to be true.  In 2011, Cynthia Spann went bargain-hunting at a California J.C. Penney, and walked out convinced that she had saved over 30%.  However, she later discovered the products she bought at a “bargain” price had never really been sold … Continue Reading

Court Attempts to Smooth out ROSCA Violations

As we’ve mentioned before, and as this year is unfolding, it looks like the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is even more desperate to enforce the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“ROSCA”) than we are to find good skin care products.  The FTC has begun expanding its enforcement of ROSCA into various industries, including now the … Continue Reading

Miller/Coors Sings the Blues over Craft Beer Lawsuit

There has been a trend of late toward “hand-crafted” goods.  Advertisers, as they always do, have responded to this trend through creative marketing and, as they always do, class action lawyers have not been far behind.  The alcohol industry has been a prime target; for example, Tito’s Handmade Vodka was sued recently by a plaintiff … Continue Reading

Think You Are Exempt from FTC Jurisdiction? Think Again, Judge Says after Throttling AT&T’s Motion to Dismiss FTC Lawsuit

Last week, a federal judge in the Northern District of California denied AT&T’s motion to dismiss the FTC’s lawsuit against the company concerning its advertising and business practices for its mobile wireless data plans. As we noted last fall, the FTC accused AT&T of misleading millions of its customers by marketing “unlimited” data plans, but … Continue Reading

Court Rules That Dialing Equipment Must Have “Present Capacity” to Autodial to Come Within the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

On February 4, 2015, in Glauser v. GroupMe, Inc., No. 4:11-cv-02584, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California struck a blow to class action plaintiffs asserting claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), interpreting the TCPA’s definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” (“ATDS”) narrowly to mean equipment that has the “present … Continue Reading

When a Survey Isn’t Asking For Your Opinion: A Time-Sensitive Requirement for Those Doing Business in California

Companies doing business in California must now complete a comprehensive “survey” if selling particular products to consumers within the state.  However, this is not your typical consumer satisfaction survey, but rather a submission of detailed information for each product meeting the requirements discussed below.  The detailed submission must include include information on product formulas and unit … Continue Reading

California Enacts Law Protecting Minors’ Digital Privacy Rights

Kids say the darndest things, and California wants to make sure that when it comes to their online postings those kids get a do-over.  On January 2015, California law SB 568 entitled “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World” will go into effect, allowing minors to remove certain posted online content as well … Continue Reading

Duke U. Scores Win Against The Duke

We reported on July 16, 2014 that John Wayne Enterprises, LLC (“JWE”), the entity owning the rights to the name, image, and likeness of John Wayne, a.k.a. The Duke, had sued Duke University in California federal court to protect JWE’s right to market alcohol products with the mark “Duke” or “Duke John Wayne.”  Duke University … Continue Reading

Designer Duds? Class Action Alleges a “Made in USA” Fashion Faux Pas

Is the “surf up” again in California for “Made in USA” class actions?  A prior wave of “Made in USA” class action litigation in California crashed up against a number of legal difficulties, including how one calculated damages for buying a product “mislabeled” as “Made in USA.”  However, the California Supreme Court in the Kwikset … Continue Reading

Siri, Should Plaintiffs’ Case Be Dismissed? Yes.

In an important development for product demonstration claims, a federal court recently dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit claiming that Apple’s advertising overstated the voice recognition capability for Siri. When Apple first launched its iPhone 4S the company touted the inclusion of a voice-activated personal assistant, called “Siri.”  A number of commercials were aired in which … Continue Reading
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