A California federal court has allowed plaintiffs in a false advertising putative class action to dismiss their claims of fraud based on the “extra virgin” quality of Filippo Berio olive oil in favor of pursuing their allegations that the products are falsely labeled as “made in Italy.” Kumar v. Salov N. Am. Corp., No. 14-2411 (N.D. Cal., Oakland Div., order entered January 8, 2016). The plaintiff sought to dismiss the “extra virgin” portion of the claims after the discovery process revealed the olive oil was sold in both clear-glass bottles—which the plaintiff asserted could damage the quality of the oil because of the light allowed through the glass—and tinted-glass bottles.
Additional details about the claims’ survival of a motion to dismiss appear in Issue 554 of this Update. In February 2015, Shook Partner Ann Havelka authored an article for Law360 examining the case, arguing that it is “an example of a second wave of food labeling litigation” because of an increase in independent testing for compliance with labeling and regulatory standards.