After dismissing a portion of the claims in July 2015, a California federal court has dismissed the remaining claims in a lawsuit against Nissin Foods Co. Inc. alleging that the use of partially hydrogenated oil (PHO) violates California law. Guttmann v. Nissin Foods (U.S.A.) Co., Inc., No.15-0567 (N.D. Cal., order entered August 14, 2015). The plaintiff alleged that Nissin sold unsafe food to the public because of the trans fat content of its Cup Noodles®. Details of the previous ruling appear in Issue 573 of this Update.
The plaintiff’s claims of unfair business practices and breach of the implied warranty of merchantability rested on his lack of knowledge about the harms of PHO and trans fat when he purchased Cup Noodles®. He claimed to believe that the products he purchased were safe to consume when they allegedly were not; however, according to three previous lawsuits against other companies on the same issues, the plaintiff knew of the harms of trans fat as early as 2010, leaving the statute of limitations on his claims to expire in 2014. “Guttmann could reasonably have avoided any injury based on Nissin’s use of artificial trans-fat by reading the nutrition-facts panel and deciding not to purchase or consume them based on the presence of partially-hydrogenated oil,” the court noted, dismissing the remaining claims accordingly.