Certification Denied in Probiotic Yogurt Dispute
A California federal court has refused to certify the proposed class in a case alleging Yakult U.S.A., Inc. mislabels its probiotic yogurt drinks as providing nonexistent health benefits. Torrent v. Yakult U.S.A., Inc., No. 15-0124 (C.D. Cal., order entered January 5, 2016). The plaintiff argued that “Yakult fails to actually confer any health benefit and that there is no credible scientific evidence that the probiotics in the beverage do what Yakult claims,” and he sought to enjoin Yakult from continuing to sell the product with its allegedly false labeling.
The court found that the plaintiff lacked standing to seek injunctive relief because he did not intend to buy Yakult’s product again. “Owing to his lack of standing to pursue injunctive relief,” the court said, “he has failed to provide a sound rationale for class certification under either [certification standard].” Further, “even if it were possible for [the plaintiff] to obtain injunctive relief in the instant case, the restitution he seeks in his complaint could not be recovered as part of a (b)(2) class, as it necessarily requires individual calculations of monetary relief related to the amount of Yakult purchased during the class period and the retail price paid by each consumer.”