Practice/Industry Group Overview
With more than 40 lawyers in our Consumer Litigation & Class Actions practice, along with one of the top-ranked Supreme Court & Appellate practices, Mayer Brown is uniquely qualified to defend food and beverage clients against false advertising claims. In cases involving antitrust, trademark, false patent marking, or related issues, we can also bring to bear our enormous experience with antitrust and intellectual property matters. And in cases involving state or federal regulators, our Government Relations practice can help protect our clients’ interests.
Working in partnership with our clients, Mayer Brown takes a multi-faceted approach to false advertising claims against food and beverage companies:
- We aggressively and efficiently defend against class action litigation, with a strong track record in obtaining early dismissal or summary judgment and in defeating class certification.
- We help create a unified strategy to handle copycat class actions or private claims piggybacking on a government investigation.
- We advise on how to minimize exposure to future false advertising claims.
Our approach works. We have successfully resolved class actions in federal and state courts across the country; government investigations and enforcement actions by the FTC, state attorneys general, and other federal and state regulators; and claims in arbitration and before the National Advertising Division of the Council of the Better Business Bureaus.
- Carrea v. Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc. Successful defense of Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. A three-judge panel unanimously affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of a consumer class action complaint alleging false advertising of Drumstick and Dibs products. The court ruled that plaintiff’s state law claims were preempted by federal food labeling law and that a reasonable consumer would not be misled by the labels. This putative nationwide class action challenged the “0g trans fat” labeling and advertising of ice cream products.
- Forlenza v. Dynakor Pharmacal, LLC. In this putative class action in California, the plaintiffs challenged the labeling and marketing of five nutraceutical products. Lawyers now at Mayer Brown obtained complete dismissal of all false advertising claims against the client.
- Nestlé USA False Advertising Litigation. Represent Nestlé USA in related class actions pending in state and federal courts regarding claims of false advertising relating to juice products fortified with DHA, vitamins, and prebiotics.
- Dahl v. Mott’s LLP. After lawyers now at Mayer Brown moved to dismiss this putative New York class action challenging the health claims on the labeling of Yoohoo beverages, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case with prejudice.
- Christensen v. Jillian Michaels, et al.; Creer v. Jillian Michaels, et al.; and Hensley v. Jillian Michaels, et al. Represent all defendants in these three separate class actions. Plaintiffs allege Ms. Michaels and companies that manufacture and distribute the products “Maximum Strength Fat Burner” and “Maximum Strength Calorie Control” violate unfair competition, false advertising and consumer protection laws by claiming products assist in weight loss.
- Dysthe v. Basic Research LLC. In this putative class action in California, the plaintiffs challenged the labeling, marketing, and efficacy of two dietary supplements. Lawyers now at Mayer Brown obtained dismissal with prejudice of the claims of three of the four named plaintiffs, and a summary judgment motion is pending against the remaining plaintiff.
- DeMott v. Jillian Michaels. In this putative class action in California, which was the subject of significant press and blog coverage, the plaintiff challenged the labeling and marketing of several weight loss supplements and also alleged that the products were dangerous to use. After significant pretrial investigation into plaintiff’s claims, lawyers now at Mayer Brown obtained dismissal of the case after the plaintiff refused to proceed with her deposition.
- Morales v. Generix. In this putative class action in California, the plaintiff sought relief against a dietary supplement designed for significantly overweight consumers. The case was dismissed during the course of preliminary discovery when lawyers now at Mayer Brown demonstrated that the claims in the lawsuit were baseless and attorney-generated.
- BMW Lanham Act Litigation. Lawyers now at Mayer Brown represented BMW on the West Coast in its trademark and false advertising enforcement program. Multiple actions filed and successfully concluded on behalf of BMW in federal courts in California.
- PepsiCo/Confidential Lanham Act Litigation. Lawyers now at Mayer Brown represented PepsiCo in Lanham Act trademark and false designation of origin claim that settled very favorably on confidential terms.
- Confidential. Lawyers now at Mayer Brown represented a national poultry producer in an FTC investigation of “humaneness” advertising claims. Achieved a no-cost resolution with the FTC.
- Confidential. Lawyers now at Mayer Brown represented a food and beverage company in FTC and multi-state attorneys general investigations on advertising and labeling claims for its beverage product. Achieved no-cost resolution with FTC and “cost of defense” settlement with state attorneys general.