A California federal court has confirmed its ruling that a plaintiff in a class action against Twinings North America cannot pursue her claim of unjust enrichment because it duplicates her consumer protection claims. Lanovaz v. Twinings N. Am., No. 12-2646 (N.D. Cal., order entered June 10, 2015). Details about the court’s previous rulings narrowing the claims and certifying an injunctive class appear in Issues 485 and 521 of this Update.

In her complaint, the plaintiff alleged that Twinings misbranded its green, black and white teas as a “natural source of protective antioxidants” despite failing to meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards for nutrient content claims. The court certified an injunctive class but denied the plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim. The plaintiff, seeking certification for a damages class through that claim, filed a motion for reconsideration arguing that the damages available through the unjust enrichment claim were different from the damages available via the consumer-protection claim, the basis for the injunctive class certification. The court disagreed, finding that the consumer-protection claim offered the same possible damages awards, and it had chosen not to certify the damages class. Accordingly, it denied the motion for reconsideration, and the case will continue as an injunctive-class-only action.

 

Issue 569

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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