• The Federal District Court for the Northern District of California has granted Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.’s Motion to Dismiss (available for purchase here) in a putative class action originally filed in October 2017, which alleged that the marketing of Diet Dr. Pepper violated California’s False Advertising Law, Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and Unfair Competition Law, as well as breached both express and implied warranties.
  • Plaintiffs had filed a third amended complaint that attempted to bolster its arguments that Diet Dr. Pepper’s marketing and advertising were false and misleading. The complaint included citations to the dictionary definitions for “diet,” discussions of print and video advertisements, and scientific articles and studies. Plaintiffs attempted to establish, in part, that aspartame, the FDA-approved artificial sweetener in Diet Dr. Pepper, causes weight gain.
  • The court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss, concluding that it is not plausible that reasonable consumers would believe that consuming Diet Dr Pepper leads to weight loss or healthy weight management, absent a change in lifestyle. The court stated that “[t]he new studies Becerra included in the third amended complaint still fail to offer a single finding of causation between aspartame or diet soda products and weight gain…correlation is not causation, neither for purposes of science nor the law.” The decision should be considered a victory for industry and could serve to dissuade other suits against diet beverages.