San Diego Class Action Defense Lawyers
Food labeling litigation and issues related to food & supplement class action defense have substantially increased over the past several years. Federal courts have become over-burdened with class action lawsuits and cases against food growers and producers as well as manufacturers and distributors of foods, beverages and “natural” or “organic” products. Here in California this often extends to include “Made in the USA” disputes.
There are often hundreds of cases pending in California courts. Unlike disputes involving the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or the Federal Trade Commission which provide levels of defense prior to the actual filing of a legal action, plaintiff’s attorneys can attempt to file a lawsuit and establish a class action. While some of the cases may have genuine causes of action, many simply do not.
Labeling and False Claims
While there are sound strategies to reduce the risk of mitigate exposure to class action lawsuits, many individual producers, food companies and businesses face increased risk regarding the labeling and false advertising claims associated with their products and labeling. Complaints and legal action can be brought by a variety of sources including regulatory agencies, consumer watchdog organizations and plaintiff’s attorneys.
The Watkins Firm provides aggressive food & supplement class action defense for San Diego and Southern California. Many of these cases are filed under consumer fraud statutes in order to lower the burden of proof requirements and recover attorney’s fees. There are several valid defenses available, and our experienced trial attorneys fight each step of the way to prevent the certification of a class, disqualify representative plaintiffs or disprove allegations contained in the suit itself.
Organic and Made in USA Defense
A recent decision by the California Supreme Court affirmed consumers have the right to file lawsuits and class actions under California law challenging food products labeled as “organic.” In many cases plaintiffs allege the product contains either a mix of “organic and non-organic” ingredients. In others, the lawsuit will challenge whether an organic product meets the definition of the California Department of Public Health for “organic”:
The term “organic” means the food was produced using sustainable practices and without synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, or genetic engineering.
California’s “Made in the USA” laws have recently been relaxed to more closely align with FTC standards requiring “all or virtually all” of the product to be made in the United States. Generally speaking, if a product’s final assembly occurs in the US and the amount of “foreign content” is negligible the product is considered to be “Made in the USA.” The changes in our laws were in part intended to reduce the overwhelming increase in plaintiff’s lawsuits and class actions although the impact has been negligible. The good news for our clients is there is a strong legal basis to fight these lawsuits and claims ultimately resulting in their dismissal.
Contact Experienced San Diego Class Action Defense Lawyers
If your business faces the risk of a class action lawsuit you need experienced, proven San Diego food & supplement class action defense attorneys at the Watkins Firm. We invite you to contact us, or call 858-535-1511 to discuss your case with one of our seasoned lawyers. Learn more about the aggressive strategies we will develop and deploy to protect your interests and our unique approach to litigation which is designed to resolve difficult matters as quickly and efficiently as possible.