A California federal court has denied Clif Bar & Co.’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that its products marketed as containing white chocolate lack the claimed ingredients. Joslin v. Clif Bar & Co., No. 18-4941 (N.D. Cal., entered December 2, 2019). A previous version of the complaint was dismissed for failure to show that members of the public were likely to be deceived. The court again found that the plaintiffs failed to allege standing for the injunctive relief they sought, but it held that the amended complaint properly alleged facts that satisfy the “reasonable consumer” standard. “This is a close case,” the court stated. “Having considered Plaintiffs’ amendments, the Court concludes Plaintiffs have nudged their claims over the line from possible to plausible. The Court concludes Plaintiffs’ allegations are sufficient to allege the Products’ labels would be likely to deceive a reasonable consumer and sufficiently allege facts to state a claim under the unlawful prong of the [California Unfair Competition Law].”

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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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