Beckman, et al. v. Arizona Canning Company, LLC, No. 3:16-cv-02792 (S.D. Cal.): The Court issued an order granting Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss this putative copycat class action asserting violations of California’s UCL, CLRA and FAL. Plaintiffs alleged that Defendant sold Sun Vista whole canned bean products to consumers, representing that the cans are primarily filled with beans, when in fact they contain only a small amount of beans that are fully submerged in a large amount of water.
The Court tentatively ruled that Plaintiffs pleadings do not meet the heightened particularity requirements of Rule 9(b) finding that Plaintiffs did not plead with particularity why the picture of the ready-to-serve bowl of beans mislead them to believe the unprepared product would appear the same for any of the various can sizes offered by Defendant. The Court then ruled that Plaintiffs failed to state a claim for violation of the UCL because Plaintiffs do not allege the label falsely includes or omits an ingredient or misstates the contents—Plaintiffs failed to allege non-compliance with FDA regulations. As for Plaintiffs’ FAL claim, the Court did not find it appropriate to make a determination on whether the reasonable consumer standard has been met at this stage in the pleadings. Before the Court reaches the reasonable consumer test, Plaintiffs must plead with particularity pursuant to Rule 9(b). Finally, the Court found that Plaintiffs never gave the pre-filing notice required by § 1782(a) and therefore dismissed Plaintiffs’ CLRA claim.