A California federal court has granted a motion to dismiss claims that La Tapatia Tortilleria mislabels its food as containing no trans fats despite containing partially hydrogenated oil (PHO) based on the finding that the plaintiff cannot claim he relied on the product packaging because he is the plaintiff in several similar lawsuits, showing he had sufficient knowledge to determine whether the product contained trans fats before purchasing. Guttmann v. La Tapatia Tortilleria, Inc., No. 15-2042 (N.D. Cal., order entered November 18, 2015).
The plaintiff alleged he relied on the “0g Trans Fat” representation on La Tapatia’s tortilla packaging when purchasing, then later learned the product contained trans fat. He, however, “was amply aware, given his litigation history: (1) that products labeled as “0g Trans Fat” may in fact contain small amounts of trans-fat; (2) that FDA regulations do not require trans-fat content to be declared in the nutrition-facts panel on a product label; (3) that PHO is a form of artificial trans-fat; and (4) that consumption of artificial trans-fat may pose health risks,” the court held. Accordingly, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims brought under California’s consumer-protection statutes, but concluded the plaintiff sufficiently established standing to sue for his breach of warranties claims, so it allowed those claims to continue.