Food & Beverage

  • April 21, 2017

    Facebook Rant Not Enough To Fire Worker, 2nd Circ. Says

    A catering company was wrong to fire an employee for posting a profanity-laced message on Facebook that insulted both a manager and his mother and urged colleagues to vote in favor of unionization, the Second Circuit ruled Friday, but it cautioned that the clearly obscene post lies at the outer limit of acceptability for protected union speech.

  • April 21, 2017

    Vendor Seeks Probation In MillerCoors Marketing Fraud Case

    A fraudulent vendor who pled guilty to her role in an $8.6 million scheme to help a former MillerCoors LLC executive submit phony invoices for nonexistent beer marketing events asked an Illinois federal judge on Friday for a sentence of probation, saying she faces extenuating circumstances.

  • April 21, 2017

    Ship’s Failure Cost $3M In Spoiled Bananas, Chiquita Says

    The owners of a refrigerated ship transporting Chiquita bananas in the Mediterranean are in a bunch after an engine failure caused weekslong shipping delays, spoiling produce on board and costing Chiquita an estimated $3 million, according to a suit filed Thursday in New York district court.

  • April 21, 2017

    Cosi Fights Over $2M In Shareholder Claims In Ch. 11

    Fast-casual restaurant chain Cosi Inc. filed an objection Thursday in Massachusetts bankruptcy court to more than $2.3 million in claims by equity shareholders, while a former executive asked the court to deny the debtor’s assumption of his noncompete agreement.

  • April 21, 2017

    EPA Settles Alaskan Seafood Processor Clean Air Suit

    Westward Seafoods Inc. has agreed to pay $2.4 million in air pollution reduction projects and civil penalties to settle a lawsuit from the federal government and the state of Alaska alleging Clean Air Act violations at its seafood processing plant in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, the federal government announced Thursday.

  • April 20, 2017

    Wis. ‘Artisanal Butter Ban’ Unconstitutional, Ohio Co. Says

    An Ohio-based cheese and butter producer hit the state of Wisconsin with a suit Thursday in federal court, claiming that the state’s law mandating that all butter receive a government-issued grade before it can be sold within its borders is arbitrary, costly, anti-competitive and unconstitutional.

  • April 20, 2017

    McDonald’s Loses Calif. OT Fight, Queuing Up Damages Trial

    A California state judge ruled Thursday that McDonald’s violated state labor law and shorted a class of thousands of workers on overtime through its handling of overnight shifts at its company-run stores, leaving only the matter of damages for next month’s scheduled trial.

  • April 20, 2017

    $31M Confirmation Bid Lacks US Connection, Co. Says

    A U.S. Department of Defense food supplier accused of stiffing a security contractor on a $31 million arbitration award urged a Virginia federal judge Wednesday to toss a confirmation bid it says has no legs in the U.S., where the provisions company has no ties.

  • April 20, 2017

    Tony Roma's Says Licensing Deal Not Part Of Rupari Sale

    Steakhouse chain Tony Roma's objected Thursday in Delaware to proposed bid procedures that would govern a bankruptcy auction for the assets of meat distributor Rupari Food Services Inc., saying a licensing agreement between the two companies was no longer valid and couldn't be included in a stalking horse package.

  • April 20, 2017

    Slaughterhouse Workers Gain Conditional Cert. In FLSA Row

    A Georgia federal judge on Thursday conditionally certified a group of workers at a “fair, sustainable and humane” slaughterhouse, who say they didn’t receive the appropriate amount of overtime pay, in their proposed Fair Labor Standards Act collective action.

  • April 20, 2017

    Judge In Endangered Fish Lawsuit Lifts Hold On Montana Dam

    A Montana federal judge on Wednesday gave the government the go-ahead to build a new dam on the Yellowstone River, which will provide water for farmers but allegedly threaten the well-being of a critically endangered fish, after previously putting the project on pause until it saw a proper environmental review.

  • April 20, 2017

    Hain Celestial Investors Launch $1.4B Stock-Drop Suit

    Hain Celestial shareholders sued the organic food producer's top brass in New York federal court on Wednesday over accounting errors that allegedly inflated the company's earnings, saying the mistakes caused a $1.4 billion loss in market capitalization and spurred a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

  • April 20, 2017

    Almond Milk Class Fires Back At Bid To Dump Suit

    Consumers accusing an almond milk maker of deceptively marketing its products as a healthy alternative to cow’s milk have fired back at the company’s attempt to toss their proposed class  action suit, saying in California federal court Wednesday they have standing to bring the case because their claims are viable.

  • April 20, 2017

    Feds Want 9 Years For Head Of Counterfeit 5-Hour Energy Plot

    A wholesale distribution company owner who pled guilty to running a scheme to sell counterfeit 5-Hour Energy drinks should serve nine years in prison and pay more than half a million dollars in restitution to the drink’s maker, Innovation Ventures LLC, California federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

  • April 20, 2017

    9th Circ. Revives Gerber Baby Food False Ad Suit

    A mother accusing Gerber Products Co. of using misleading labels to tout the quality of its baby food has presented sufficient evidence that the company deceived customers, the Ninth Circuit said Wednesday in reviving the putative class action.

  • April 20, 2017

    Calif. Hospitality Group Hit With Wage-Hour Class Action

    The Southern California hospitality company behind the luxury Shade Hotels and several popular restaurants, including one that was jointly founded with members of rock band Kiss, got smacked Tuesday in county court with a proposed wage-and-overtime class action by a current employee at its steak and seafood eatery Rock'n Fish.

  • April 20, 2017

    Aussie Regulator's Food Safety System Is Comparable: FDA

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced that it has signed an agreement with an Australian regulator recognizing each other’s food safety systems as comparable, a move the Australian government has said will make its exporters preferred suppliers of safe food to the U.S.

  • April 19, 2017

    Instacart Can’t Yet Ring Up $4.6M Misclassification Deal

    A California judge on Wednesday held off on approving Instacart’s proposed $4.6 million deal to resolve multistate claims that 31,000 delivery workers were misclassified as independent contractors, saying he needed more information about the deal, including the average payout for each class member.

  • April 19, 2017

    ‘No Sugar Added’ Claims Vex 9th Circ. In Juice Labeling Suits

    A Ninth Circuit panel heard arguments Wednesday in separate putative class actions against Mott's and Ocean Spray on claims they promised juice products had “no sugar added,” tackling thorny food labeling questions like how buyers can show that a class had a shared understanding of what a label means.

  • April 19, 2017

    Bunge Agrees To Turn Over Trading Info In Kraft Wheat Row

    Ingredient company Bunge North America Inc. agreed to turn over information Kraft Foods Group Inc. sought as part of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's case over Kraft's alleged manipulation of the wheat market, Kraft said in a filing in Illinois federal court Wednesday.

Expert Analysis

  • The Issues Justices Are Focusing On In TC Heartland

    S. Gregory Herrman

    In a surprise to those expecting a unanimous reversal in TC Heartland, the U.S. Supreme Court justices asked tough questions to both sides on Monday, some even seeming to lean at least slightly toward affirming the Federal Circuit’s broad interpretation of patent venue. Only Chief Justice John Roberts appeared to be leaning significantly in favor of a reversal, says Gregory Herrman of Blank Rome LLP.

  • Pleading Civil RICO: Lessons From The Abbott Litigation

    Derrelle M. Janey

    A New York federal court's recent dismissal of civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act claims in a massive case brought by Abbott Laboratories serves as a strong reminder for complex civil litigation practitioners that civil RICO claims must meet special pleading requirements, especially where the plaintiff alleges large, complicated schemes, says Derrelle Janey of Gottlieb & Janey LLP.

  • EU Endocrine Disruptor Fights Could Lead To US Litigation

    David Schwartz.jpg

    A battle is raging in the European Union over the regulatory status of endocrine disrupting substances. This debate could have dramatic implications for U.S. litigation over personal care products, food, household cleaners, agricultural chemicals, pharmaceutical products and other substances. Relevant product manufacturers must be ready for the coming onslaught, says David Schwartz of Innovative Science Solutions LLC.

  • 'Comma Case' Takeaways That Go Beyond Grammar

    Julie Saker Schlegel

    While many commentators have viewed the First Circuit’s recent opinion in O’Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy as an ode to, in the court’s words, “the clarifying virtues of serial commas,” ultimately that is a mere subset of the three broader lessons presented by this case, says Julie Saker Schlegel of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • Jam Recipe Yields 1st DTSA Verdict

    Thomas A. Muccifori

    A federal jury in Pennsylvania recently returned the first verdict under the Defend Trade Secrets Act. Although Dalmatia’s proprietary fig spread recipes would have been protected under the Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the case stands as a reminder of the powerful protections that can arise from the DTSA in the proper factual scenario, say Thomas Muccifori and Daniel DeFiglio of Archer & Greiner PC.

  • Joint Employment Relationships: Best Practices And Risks

    Excerpt from Lexis Practice Advisor
    Jonathan M. Linas

    In this practice note, attorneys with Jones Day LLP identify certain preliminary considerations when starting an analysis of a potential or alleged joint employer relationship and offer examples of risks a client may face if found to be such a joint employer, and practical guidance for avoiding a joint employer finding.

  • Are Your In-House Lawyers Happy?

    Aric Press

    What is the mood of the nation’s in-house lawyers? Aric Press — a partner at Bernero & Press LLC and former editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer — shares the findings of a recent survey of more than 800 in-house counsel.

  • Google, NASA, Planes And A Stronger Legal Team

    Nicholas Cheolas

    Why did minor mechanical issues bring down two airplanes, while a catastrophic engine explosion did not bring down a third? The answers lie, in part, in research conducted by NASA in the wake of those crashes and, more recently, by Google. And those answers can help organizations build better teams to meet today’s legal industry challenges, says Nicholas Cheolas of Zelle LLP.

  • 10 Tips For Better Legal Negotiations

    Marc J. Siegel

    Like everything else, the art of negotiation starts by having a conversation. It’s about being respectful, finding common ground, knowing what you want and, most importantly, listening. A conversation between two lawyers can be complicated at best, but by employing a few techniques and tactics, it doesn’t have to be that way, says Marc Siegel of Siegel & Dolan Ltd.

  • Monthly Column

    Gray Matters: Decision Error

    Gray Matters

    Lawyers make hundreds of decisions during the course of advising a client, consummating a transaction or litigating a case. In this new column, dispute resolution experts Bob Creo and Selina Shultz explore the theory, science and practical aspects of how decisions are made in the legal community.