A federal court in California has dismissed putative class claims relating to any product other than Mott’s 100% Apple Juice because the plaintiff failed to properly allege that the company’s numerous sauce products are mislabeled under state and federal law. Rahman v. Mott’s LLP, No. 13-3482 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Cal., order entered January 29, 2014). The court also dismissed claims under the state’s False Advertising Law, the fraud prong of the Unfair Competition Law (UCL) and the Consumers Legal Remedies Act because they were not sufficiently pleaded, and further dismissed the plaintiff’s claim for negligent misrepresenta- tion for failure to plead justifiable reliance.
The court disagreed that the action should be dismissed under the primary jurisdiction doctrine or that the UCL claim should be dismissed for failure to allege facts that would satisfy the reasonable consumer test. As to the latter, the court reiterated that this test “does not apply to claims brought under the unlawful prong of the UCL.”
Disavowing its previous analysis of the issue in Larsen v. Trader Joe’s Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162402 (N.D. Cal. June 14, 2012), the court agreed to dismiss the plaintiff’s request for injunctive relief on Article III standing grounds. In this regard, the court stated, “Defendant argues that plaintiff lacks standing for injunctive relief because plaintiff is now fully aware of the alleged misrepre- sentations. This Court has previously rejected this argument. . . . However, the Court agrees with defendant that to establish standing, plaintiff must allege that he intends to purchase the products at issue in the future.”To support its new position, the court cited Jou v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173216 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 10, 2013), and Delarosa v. Boiron, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188828 (N.D. Cal. 2012). The court granted the plaintiff leave to amend the complaint by February 24, 2014.