A California federal court has remanded a putative class action against Gerber Products Co. on the labeling of its Gerber® Graduates® Puffs to state court and declined to admit sales data into evidence on hearsay grounds. Gyorke-Takatri v. Nestle USA, Inc., No. 15-3702 (N.D. Cal., order entered November 6, 2015). The plaintiffs allege Gerber misleads consumers with its Graduates® Puffs marketing by implying the products are healthy with “vibrant images of fruits and vegetables on the outside of the Puffs’ packaging.”
Gerber argued that the amount in controversy was more than $5 million and thus sufficient to justify federal court jurisdiction. The plaintiffs argued that the court should not consider the total retail sales of Puffs, which Gerber says is well over the $5-million threshold, because the data Gerber used to reach those numbers was gathered from Nielsen, a third party. The court agreed, finding that the third-party data was inadmissible as hearsay, and thus Gerber’s argument for jurisdiction failed. Accordingly, the court remanded the case to state court.