Food Litigation

 

Keller and Heckman’s Food Litigation practice is supported by one of the largest food and drug law practices in the world, with more than 70 attorneys and over 20 in-house scientists in offices around the world. Through our seamlessly integrated team of litigators, in-house scientists, regulatory attorneys, and technical specialists, we defend clients—ranging from ingredient and food manufacturers to retailers and wholesalers—in all types of food-related litigation and disputes, including class action lawsuits.

Our nationally-recognized lawyers have been involved in some of the most important food law cases, including Alpo v. Purina, and the U.S. Supreme Court decision in POM Wonderful LLC v. The Coca-Cola Company. We also have extensive experience representing domestic and international clients throughout the United States before federal and state courts. Our diverse food litigation expertise includes: defending clients against unfair competition and false advertising claims; assisting with product recalls, indemnification issues and insurance disputes (click here for our Food Recall Insurance Coverage practice description) ; advising on supply chain liability, contract and breach of warranty matters; and representing clients in regulatory disputes and in criminal investigations.

We have successfully defended companies in the food industry against consumer protection class action claims brought under California's unfair trade practices laws. This and other state-law claims often allege false or misleading labeling or advertising of foods, dietary supplements, and homeopathic products.  We also have represented clients in lawsuits claiming that health or “natural” claims were misleading. 

We have assisted clients with alleged violations under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), which commonly include representing that goods have characteristics, ingredients, benefits or qualities that they do not have. In particular, we have been successful in responding to 30-day notice of intent to sue letters issued to our clients under this Act and have been successful in preventing the filing of lawsuits. With respect to regulatory disputes, we have represented clients in California Proposition 65 litigation, and in lawsuits alleging greenwashing, food contamination, slack-fill deception, lack of substantiation, and failure to disclose.

Our Food Litigation practice is unique in the number of attorneys who have a proven track record of success in virtually every type of food litigation matter, and, at the same time, have been involved in some of the most influential decisions. Our litigation lawyers blend their advocacy capabilities with our firm’s scientific and regulatory expertise to map out the most advantageous strategy for our clients.

Representative Matters Involving Our Attorneys

  • POM Wonderful LLC v. The Coca-Cola Company, 8 to 0 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court rejecting defense based on compliance with FDA regulation, permitting competitor Lanham Act claim to proceed
  • POM Wonderful Sales and Marketing Practices Litigation, granting motion to de-certify nationwide class challenging health claims under the CLRA and California Business and Professions Code Sections 17200, 17500
  • Figy v. Amy's Kitchen, Inc. granting motion to dismiss California causes of action for alleged violations of California Business and Professions Code Sections 17200, 17500, and the CLRA 
  • Diamond v. Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Inc., obtained judgment against plaintiff alleging claims of violation of the California Pricing Act and on appeal, Diamond v. Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Inc.
  • Sara Lee Corp. v. Kraft Foods Inc., obtained standstill agreement under which challenged advertising was stopped in Lanham Act suit
  • Gruhn v. Kal Kan Foods, Inc summary judgment dismissing alleged false advertising regarding the use of the word “bits“ in pet food packaging
  • Alpo Petfoods, Inc. v. Ralston Purina Company, affirming multi-million award to Alpo based on its claims of false product advertising under the Lanham Act

For more information on our litigation practice contact litigation@khlaw.com or call 202.434.4100.



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