Food & Beverage

  • September 20, 2017

    Starr Says Juice Maker Should Have Disclosed Presuit Notice

    Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. told a Washington federal judge Tuesday that a notice of a possible suit under California's Proposition 65 labeling law created a claim that a fruit juice maker should have told the insurer about when it applied for a policy, while the juice maker urged the court to find the claim didn't arise until the suit was filed.

  • September 20, 2017

    EEOC, Darden Unit Trade Barbs About Sanctions In Bias Row

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission told a Florida federal magistrate judge Tuesday that he can still sanction a Darden Restaurants Inc. subsidiary should he find that documents sought in an age discrimination suit regarding the Seasons 52 restaurant chain weren’t destroyed in bad faith, while the company said doing so would flout precedent.

  • September 20, 2017

    General Mills Says Age Bias Class Counsel Needs To Be DQ'd

    General Mills Inc. asked a Minnesota federal court Tuesday to disqualify Snyder & Brandt PA and Nichols Kaster PLLP from representing plaintiffs in an age discrimination collective action, saying they “tainted” the case by not taking adequate measures to prevent a named plaintiff from sharing his knowledge about the company’s litigation strategy.

  • September 20, 2017

    Winery Escapes Trademark Suit From Bourbon Maker

    A California federal judge on Tuesday delivered a verdict in favor of winemaker Fetzer Vineyards after it was sued for trademark infringement by bourbon maker Sazerac Co. Inc. over the use of a buffalo-themed product, saying that Sazerac had provided almost no backing for the claim that buyers would be confused.

  • September 19, 2017

    Caffeine Expert Details Coffee Craving In Prop 65 Trial

    A nonprofit suing Starbucks, Keurig and other big-name coffee retailers to force them to warn consumers about carcinogens in their products called an addiction expert to testify in California court on Tuesday about the negative withdrawal effects that keep hooked coffee drinkers coming back for more.

  • September 19, 2017

    EEOC Hits Ill. IHOP Eateries With Sexual Harassment Suit

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday filed suit in Illinois federal court against two restaurant groups that operate IHOP restaurants, claiming a class of female employees and one male employee were subjected to a sexually hostile work environment, including offensive touching and comments that forced them to quit.

  • September 19, 2017

    NY Atty Takes Plea Deal Amid Claim He Threatened Witness

    After testing positive for cocaine and allegedly threatening a witness, a New York attorney reached a plea deal in the middle of his California federal jury trial Tuesday, agreeing to a 56-month sentence and admitting he forged documents to inflate damages in a $20 million contract suit and then lied to a federal judge.

  • September 19, 2017

    Lobster Thief Ordered To Fork Over $30M To South Africa

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday ordered a man who plundered South African lobster fisheries from 1987 to 2001 to fork over more than $30 million to the country, bumping up a previous restitution award after the poacher dodged his obligation to pay back victims of the overharvesting.

  • September 19, 2017

    4 Firms Team Up To Lead Dow, DuPont In Megamerger

    As Dow and DuPont began mulling the possibility of a tie-up that would form a global chemical and agriculture powerhouse amid pressure from two well-known shareholder activists, the companies turned to a set of four law firms to structure and successfully seal a unique merger of equals that featured a tax-free plan to spin off into three separate, publicly traded businesses after closing.

  • September 19, 2017

    Pat's Steaks Sues Family Member Over Pa. Brand Rights

    Pat’s King of Steaks Inc., the iconic Philadelphia restaurant brand controlled by the grandson of the purported originator of the cheesesteak, sued a family member in state court on Monday, saying she is refusing to concede that she does not have the rights to use the company's name in Pennsylvania.

  • September 19, 2017

    Priceline Gets Partial Win In IBM Patent Infringement Suit

    A Delaware federal judge on Monday handed a complicated and split ruling to International Business Machines Corp. and several Priceline Group Inc. travel and hospitality websites in IBM’s lawsuit accusing the sites of infringing its patents from the early days of the internet.

  • September 19, 2017

    Post Holdings Inks $1.5B Deal For Bob Evans Farms

    Cereal giant Post Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that it has agreed to purchase the packaged food and food-service businesses of Bob Evans Farms Inc. in a deal worth $1.5 billion, months after the Bob Evans restaurant division sold for $565 million to a private equity buyer.

  • September 19, 2017

    TGI Friday's Cuts $19.1M Deal To End Wage Action

    Attorneys representing a putative class of 28,800 TGI Friday’s tipped workers have struck a $19.1 million settlement with the restaurant chain and its former owners that would resolve claims alleging they violated multiple state and federal wage statutes, according to court documents filed in New York federal court.

  • September 18, 2017

    Mystery Note In Coffee Cancer Row Risks Mistrial: Nonprofit

    A nonprofit suing Starbucks and other coffee sellers to force them to post cancer warnings on their products urged a California judge Monday to prevent disclosure of a mysterious letter from a “wayward” expert it had hired, saying the missive would create a “sideshow and a circus” that could cause a mistrial.

  • September 18, 2017

    'Flawed' Calculation Caused Inflated Forfeiture: Lobster Thief

    Counsel for a man who plundered South African lobster fisheries from 1987 until 2001 took issue Monday with a New York federal judge’s decision that his client needs to forfeit an additional $37.2 million, saying that number was based on the price of whole lobsters, rather than the tails that were actually sold.

  • September 18, 2017

    UC And Professors Reach Deal In Strawberry IP Dispute

    Two former University of California Davis professors who were found guilty of infringing strawberry seed patents will have to return certain varietals to the university and give up $2.5 million in future patent inventor royalties under a settlement filed in California federal court on Monday.

  • September 18, 2017

    Mich. Restaurant Co. Will Pay $7M To Settle TCPA Suit

    A proposed class of consumers who allegedly received a restaurant company’s unsolicited advertisements via fax in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act has asked a Michigan federal judge to grant preliminary approval to a $6.9 million settlement, saying the company has agreed through its insurers to pay valid class member claims.

  • September 18, 2017

    Chipotle Worker Says Overtime Suit Didn't Flout Texas Court

    A Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. worker who filed a putative class action in New Jersey seeking overtime pay under an enjoined U.S. Department of Labor overtime rule change urged a Texas federal judge on Monday not to hold her and her counsel in contempt over the suit.

  • September 18, 2017

    Chipotle Worker Sexually Harassed, Locked In Freezer: EEOC

    Workers at a California Chipotle locked a coworker in a walk-in freezer after he reported their manager for sexual harassment that included her propositioning him and pantomiming sex acts with vegetables, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged Monday in California federal court.

  • September 18, 2017

    Mott Fruit Snack False Labeling Suit Nears Checkout

    A California federal judge on Monday tentatively ruled to toss a putative class action accusing Motts Inc. of misleading consumers to believe that its fruit snacks are healthy products by putting pictures of fruit on labels, despite the fact they are actually made with purees, juices and concentrates.

Expert Analysis

  • Shopping For Standard Food Date Labels

    Brian Sylvester

    The voluntary initiative by grocery manufacturers and retailers to distill date labels to just two standard phrases should go a long way toward stemming consumer confusion. But if states continue to jump into the fray, a patchwork of differing standards could trigger federal rulemaking, says Brian Sylvester of Keller and Heckman LLP.

  • 6 Common Lateral Partner Myths Debunked

    Dan Hatch

    It’s safe to say that while demand ebbs and flows for legal services, there will never be a shortage of opinions about lateral partner hiring, which is positive for the industry, as anything with such vital importance to careers should attract significant attention. However, there is a unique mythology that travels with the discussions, says Dan Hatch of Major Lindsey & Africa.

  • 4 Ways Law Firms Can Help Battle Addiction

    Link Christin

    With more than a third of lawyers showing signs of problem drinking, and untold others abusing prescription drugs and other substances, it is time for law firms to be more proactive in addressing this issue, says Link Christin, executive director of the Legal Professionals Program at Caron Treatment Centers.

  • 9th Circ. Deems EPA Pesticide Action Sufficient, For Now

     Patrick Paul

    Pesticide Action Network North America and public interest groups like Earthjustice have expressed disappointment with the Ninth Circuit's recent decision in PANNA v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Although it is conceivable the court might agree with the merits of PANNA’s claims, it nevertheless determined them to be premature, says Patrick Paul of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • Sorting Out Teamsters Acquittal In ‘Top Chef’ Case

    Michael Abcarian

    A federal jury recently acquitted four Teamsters on charges of criminally threatening the host of the popular cooking competition show “Top Chef." Michael Abcarian of Fisher Phillips examines how the dispute escalated into a criminal extortion prosecution and where the line is drawn between criminality and lawful conduct when union members threaten an employer who uses nonunion workers.

  • Dairy Vs. Plant-Based 'Milks': A Regulatory Standoff

    Katie Gates Calderon

    Sales of nondairy milk alternatives are flourishing, but the dairy industry charges the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with failing to enforce its own labeling regulations regarding the definition of "milk." The longer terms like soy milk, almond milk and coconut milk remain in use, the stronger the argument for their continued use to describe these products, say attorneys with Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP.

  • A Law Firm Guide To Helping Victims Of Human Trafficking

    Sarah Dohoney Byrne

    Unlike victims of many crimes, human trafficking survivors often have complicated legal problems related to the experience of being trafficked — everything from criminal records to custody disputes to immigration obstacles. Many law firms already provide assistance in these areas and can easily transition resources and expertise, says Sarah Dohoney Byrne of Moore & Van Allen PLLC.

  • Rebuttal

    Discovery Proportionality: A Defense View

    Alan Hoffman

    A recent Law360 guest article offered a plaintiff’s guide to discovery proportionality, focusing on recent amendments to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. But proportionality is achieved by collaboration, not by mechanistically applying rules. When lawyers work together to establish the nature and scope of discovery, disputes can be avoided, says Alan Hoffman of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • When Employer Rules Against Recording May Violate NLRA

     Matthew LaGarde

    When considering the impact of the recent decisions of the National Labor Relations Board and the Second Circuit in Whole Foods v. NLRB, it is important to remember that the National Labor Relations Act’s protections are not limited to the unionized workforce, say Matthew LaGarde and Carolyn Wheeler of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • Rebuttal

    Assessing 'The Value Of Class Actions'

    Andrew Pincus

    In a recent Law360 opinion piece, Gary Mason claimed that class actions provide “significant benefits” to class members. But the study he conducted to support this conclusion shows just the opposite, says Andrew Pincus of Mayer Brown LLP.