Food & Beverage

  • October 13, 2017

    Bayer Inks €5.9B Divestiture Amid Scrutiny Of Monsanto Buy

    German drug and chemical maker Bayer AG said Friday it will divest portions of its seeds and herbicides businesses in a €5.9 billion ($6.96 billion) sale to BASF SE, as it looks to ease regulatory concerns with its planned takeover of U.S.-based Monsanto Co.

  • October 13, 2017

    Australia Wants To Keep Tabs On US-Canada WTO Wine Battle

    The Australian government has asked for a seat at the table in a brewing World Trade Organization dispute brought by the U.S. targeting Canadian restrictions on the sale of foreign wine in its grocery stores, according to a WTO document circulated Friday.

  • October 12, 2017

    Hepatitis Victim Had Costco Berry Blend In Home, Jury Told

    The daughter of a woman who was killed by hepatitis A told a California jury on Thursday that she and her sister found two bags of the Costco-sold organic berry blend linked to a hepatitis outbreak in their mother’s refrigerator and freezer after she was hospitalized.

  • October 12, 2017

    Fresh & Easy Settles Employee Firing Claims For $2.2M

    The liquidating trust for grocer Fresh & Easy has agreed to pay a claim of $2.2 million to settle putative class actions brought by about 900 California workers who said they found themselves jobless without warning, according to a joint motion filed Wednesday in Delaware bankruptcy court.

  • October 12, 2017

    What To Expect As BigLaw Vet Eric Hargan Runs HHS

    Eric Hargan, the BigLaw veteran who’s now leading the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a conservative pragmatist whose approach to dialing back Obama administration regulations will likely be forceful but targeted, former colleagues tell Law360.

  • October 12, 2017

    Mastro's Busers Hit Restaurant With Class Action Over Tips

    Busers and other employees whose pay includes tips taken from a pool collected by servers at the Chicago location of chain steakhouse Mastro's sued the restaurant in Illinois state court Wednesday, claiming Mastro's illegally retains a portion of the pooled tips. 

  • October 12, 2017

    Full 9th Circ. Asked To Rethink Calif. Foie Gras Ban

    Challengers to California’s ban on selling products like foie gras made by force-feeding birds have urged the full Ninth Circuit to rethink a panel’s decision finding that the state law isn’t preempted, contending that the ruling makes a mockery of a federal poultry law and flouts precedent.

  • October 12, 2017

    June Trial Brews Over Kiss Rockers’ Eatery Meal Break Claims

    A California judge has concluded that Rock & Brews, a restaurant chain that counts two Kiss members as its founders, hasn’t conclusively demonstrated that an alleged practice of giving employees forms to waive meal breaks complies with the law, scheduling a trial in June over a former waitress’ experience at an El Segundo location.

  • October 12, 2017

    Burger King Settles Croissan’wich Suit With $2 Gift Cards

    Burger King on Wednesday settled class action claims that it overcharged customers who ordered Croissan’wiches with a coupon, agreeing to provide $2 gift cards and pay $185,000 in attorneys' fees after finding that some customers who ordered their sandwiches without eggs, cheese or meat may have been overcharged.

  • October 11, 2017

    Häagen-Dazs Can't Slip TCPA Suit Over 'Thank You' Text

    A California federal judge refused Wednesday to throw out allegations that Häagen-Dazs and its parent company, Nestlé, violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act with unsolicited automated texts thanking customers who signed up for the ice cream maker's rewards program, saying an accompanying link to its app arguably constitutes an advertisement.

  • October 11, 2017

    Morton Salt Seeks To Lick Ex-Partner's Trade Secrets Suit

    Morton Salt Inc. demanded Tuesday that an Illinois federal judge dismiss a 16-count complaint against the company filed by ex-partner Mighty Deer Lick Inc., saying the suit alleges a breach of contract based on “non-existent promises.”

  • October 11, 2017

    Fish Magnate 'The Codfather' Must Forfeit 4 Boats, 34 Permits

    A fishing industry giant known as "The Codfather” was ordered by a Massachusetts federal court on Wednesday to forfeit four boats and 34 fishing licenses worth roughly $2.3 million, just weeks after he was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for evading taxes and fish quotas.

  • October 11, 2017

    Feds, SEC Accuse Snack Co. Of Defrauding Investors Of $2M

    Federal prosecutors and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday filed fraud charges against a trio of business associates accused of raising approximately $2 million for a caffeinated chocolate snack company under false pretenses, including a made-up proposed acquisition by Monster Energy.

  • October 11, 2017

    Top Mass. Court Rules Dechert 'Plainly Negligent' In $2M Suit

    Massachusetts’ highest court on Wednesday revived a seafood company’s $1.8 million malpractice claim against Dechert LLP, ruling that the firm couldn’t escape liability for its “plainly negligent” work by alleging a Tahitian court erred in handling the underlying dispute.

  • October 11, 2017

    Quaker Beats False Ad Suit Over Syrup-Less Maple Oatmeal

    Quaker Oats Co.’s oatmeal with maple and brown sugar doesn’t have to include real maple syrup or maple sugar under federal law, a California federal judge said Tuesday in dismissing a consolidated potential class action accusing the company of false advertising.

  • October 11, 2017

    DOJ, State Dept. Unite To Fight Visa Fraud, Discrimination

    The U.S. Department of Justice and the State Department said they have teamed up to fight fraud by employers who misuse certain foreign worker visas and to protect domestic employees from discrimination.

  • October 11, 2017

    Koch Foods Hit With $1.9M Verdict In Retaliation Suit

    An Alabama state jury on Tuesday awarded a former Koch Foods of Alabama LLC employee about $1.9 million in damages over claims the company fired him for hiring a lawyer to represent him in the wake of his serious workplace injury, according to the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

  • October 11, 2017

    Iowa Sued Over Undercover Slaughterhouse Inspection Law

    Animal rights activists and free speech advocates on Tuesday sued the state of Iowa in federal court, challenging a law criminalizing undercover investigations into animal cruelty at factory farms as unconstitutional.

  • October 11, 2017

    Garden Fresh Says Filing Ch. 11 Plan Would Be Fruitless

    Bankrupt restaurant chain operator Garden Fresh asked the Delaware bankruptcy court Tuesday to dismiss its Chapter 11 cases without a reorganization plan, saying it has no money to make a plan and no assets to reorganize.

  • October 11, 2017

    Buchanan Ingersoll Hires Kirkland Pharmaceuticals Litigator

    Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC has expanded its litigation practice with the addition of a litigator from Kirkland & Ellis LLP whose past work includes “bet the company” cases involving the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and automakers’ alleged use of so-called defeat devices.

Expert Analysis

  • Aligning A Product's Marketing, Regulatory And IP Plans

    Raymond Miller

    Marketing plans for health care products, including medical devices, prescription drugs, dietary supplements and software as a medical device, could impact both regulatory and exclusivity strategies. Innovators should consider how they will position their product in the market and whether their exclusivity strategy aligns with their marketing strategy, say attorneys with Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • How Collaboration Is Changing Inside Some Law Firms

    Chris Cartrett

    In our recent survey of business of law professionals, nearly half of respondents said that who they collaborate with, inside their law firm, is different from five years ago, says Chris Cartrett of legal software provider Aderant.

  • Opinion

    Dealing With Difficult Lawyers

    Alan Hoffman

    Some lawyers tend to be overly aggressive, regarding law practice as a zero-sum game in which there are only winners and losers. The best response is to act professionally — separating the matter at hand from the personalities. But it is also important to show resolve and not be vulnerable to intimidation, says Alan Hoffman of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Punitive Damages In Mass Torts: Outrageous And Reckless

    Stephen McConnell

    There is no consistency to the punitive damages process: One case might be halted by a judge who applies Daubert to preclude junk science, while another judge waves virtually the same case by and a jury socks the defendant with a $110 million verdict. Our system of civil litigation looks like jackpot justice, says Stephen McConnell of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Unlisted Food Ingredients: A Recipe For Trouble

    Jack Nolan

    The Middle District of Tennessee recently denied Whole Foods’ motion to dismiss a complaint concerning a slice of pizza containing undisclosed pecans consumed by a child with a severe nut allergy. Warnings may be required when an ingredient is something to which a “substantial number of persons” are allergic, says Jack Nolan of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Can You Stop Photography During An FDA Inspection?

    Katie Gates Calderon

    Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to a homeopathy company accusing it of impeding the agency’s investigation by refusing to permit photography. While raised in the context of a different regulated industry, this warning letter has renewed familiar concerns from many food industry clients, say attorneys with Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP.

  • The Psychology Of Hourly Fee Arrangements

    J.B. Heaton

    The range of possible and better fee agreements is wide. But such alternatives will become popular only if litigants confront the psychological tendencies shaping their existing fee arrangements, says J.B. Heaton, a partner at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP.

  • When IPO Companies Stumble Out Of The Blocks

    Kevin LaCroix

    Snap Inc. was hit with a securities suit two months after its initial public offering earlier this year. More recently, Blue Apron Holdings was hit with a securities suit just seven weeks after its IPO. These cases underscore the securities litigation vulnerability of newly public companies, says Kevin LaCroix of RT ProExec.

  • 8th Circ. Sick Day Decision Hinged On Company 'Loyalty'

    Eve Wagner

    The benefits employees enjoy in belonging to a labor union can be numerous. However, as the Eighth Circuit recently demonstrated with its decision in MikLin Enterprises Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, a union can't protect against termination if an employer finds an employee bad-mouthed the business to the extent that it impacts revenue, says Eve Wagner of Sauer & Wagner LLP.

  • Navigating The Murky Waters Of Joint Employment Risks

    Joseph Piesco

    Those seeking to respond to the risks of joint employment will find little comfort in some of the court and agency decisions that have been the focus of so much conversation over the past three years. The fact that there is no clear and consistent approach to what will support a finding of joint employment is a function of several factors, say Joseph Piesco and Norm Leon of DLA Piper.