The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has consolidated
several putative class actions against a number of companies alleging
they labeled their grated-parmesan products as “100% Parmesan”
despite containing cellulose. In re 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese Mktg.
& Sales Practices Litig., MDL No. 2705 (J.P.M.L., transfer order entered
June 2, 2016). The consolidated cases include 16 lawsuits and 33 potential
tag-along actions filed against Kraft, Target, Albertsons and others in
jurisdictions across the country.

The parties petitioned for centralization in the federal courts of
Missouri, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and other states, but the court
chose the Northern District of Illinois as “a convenient and accessible
forum for actions filed throughout the country regarding products sold
nationwide.” The parties also disputed whether the cases should be
consolidated into a single multi-product MDL or separate MDLs grouped
by the product or primary corporate defendant; the court held that “a
single, multi-product MDL is necessary to ensure the just and efficient
conduct of this litigation. In many situations, we are hesitant to bring
together actions involving separate defendants and products, but when,
as here, there is significant overlap in the central factual issues, parties,
and claims, we find that creation of a single MDL is warranted.”

 

Issue 606

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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