Peacock v. The 21st Amendment Brewery Cafe, LLC, No. 17-cv-01918 (N.D. Cal.): The Court issued an order granting in part and denying in part Defendant’s motion to dismiss this putative class action for false advertising pursuant to California’s CLRA and UCL. Plaintiff claims that he purchased beer relying on the representations made by Defendant indicating the beer was made in California, when in fact, it was not exclusively brewed in California.
The Court found that Plaintiff “plausibly alleges that the Bay Area map with an ‘x’ marking the brewery is likely to deceive a reasonable consumer.” However, the Court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s UCL claim for failure to satisfy the pleading standards for common law fraud with leave to amend to the extent that it (1) is predicated on the CLRA claim, and (2) relies upon California Sherman Law section 110100. The Court reasoned that Plaintiff’s allegations did not meet the heightened standard because Plaintiff’s Complaint fails to identify the specific FDA regulations violated by Defendant and “does not explain how the FDA has the authority to regulate beer in the first place.” The Court determined that Defendant’s labeling and packaging claims were not within the safe harbor exception to California’s consumer protection law, which protects representations “allowed or permitted under both state and federal law,” as the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade Bureau “may disapprove the listing of a principal place of business if its use would create a false or misleading impression as to the geographic origin of the beer.” The Court also granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s CLRA claim due to failure to provide sufficient notice under California Civil Code section 1782(a).