This article was originally posted in Food Manufacturing on January 6, 2021.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of putative class actions targeting the food and beverage industry increased in 2020 and show no signs of slowing down in 2021. The number of class actions filed against beverage companies in New York increased while the number of cases filed in California decreased. While the Northern District of California, which had become known as the “food court” remained a popular jurisdiction for these suits, filings in New York outpaced those in California. The factual basis of the claims also continues to evolve. Early cases challenged the description of food and beverages as “all natural” when the products contained additives allegedly rendering the “all natural” representation false and misleading.
Continue Reading Food & Beverage False Advertising and Labeling Class Actions: What You Need to Know for 2021

By Elizabeth Barcohana

Facebook, Inc. was sued in a class action last year over one of its advertising practices called “Sponsored Stories,” which typically consist of a Facebook Friend’s name, profile picture, and an assertion that the person (your Facebook Friend) “likes” an advertiser, coupled with the advertiser’s logo, featured on your Facebook page or News Feed. The idea is that the target of the advertisement (i.e., you) will be more influenced by the company’s advertisement because someone in your network (i.e., your Friend) “likes” that company. The disconnect is that “liking” a page on Facebook does not necessarily mean the user likes that company in the normal sense of the word. For example, one could “like” a page in order to get some promotional benefit from the company or learn more information about the company or its product.


Continue Reading He “Likes” Me, He “Likes” Me Not – Facebook’s Sponsored Stories Lawsuit and the Proposed Class Settlement

In Feder v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey joined the New Jersey Superior Court in weighing in on the issue of whether a retailer violates consumer privacy state law by requesting a customer’s zip code at the point of purchase.  Feder was brought by the same plaintiff’s lawyers and with claims similar to those in the state court case Imbert v. Harmon Stores, Inc.(Bed, Bath & Beyond). Imbert was decided last month, but without any written decision, and permitted that case to proceed past the pleading stage. The District Court in Feder, however, issued the first written opinion under the New Jersey statutes, finding that allegations that a zip code was verbally requested could not support a claim under New Jersey law.
 


Continue Reading ZIPped Back Up: Williams-Sonoma Gains Federal Dismissal Of New Jersey Consumer Privacy Claim in Feder

A New Jersey state trial court has initially weighed in on the issue of whether a retailer violates state law by requesting a customer’s zip code at the point of purchase.  In a case fashioned after the California Supreme Court’s decision in Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma, 51 Cal.4th 524 (Feb. 10, 2011), New Jersey Superior Court Judge Stephan Hansbury has denied a motion to dismiss brought by Harmon Stores, Inc. (Bed, Bath & Beyond), finding that the plaintiff Robert Imbert adequately pled a claim for violation of New Jersey’s Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act, N.J.S.A. 56:11-17 (“TCCWNA”).   The Court’s ruling allows plaintiff to proceed beyond this initial stage, but no liability has been found.
 


Continue Reading UnZIPped in New Jersey?