Tag Archives Mississippi

Mississippi's bill restricting the use of animal-derived food products to describe plant-based foods, which has been in effect since July 2019, has reportedly received proposed amendments that would allow food companies to use such words if they are modified by vegetable-associated qualifiers, such as "veggie," "meatless" or "plant-based." The updated regulation would also allow food establishments to keep animal-derived and plant-derived products separate "provided that such non-meat products comply" with the naming regulations "and do not contain any false or misleading consumer disclosures."

Upton's Naturals Co. has filed a lawsuit challenging Mississippi's law prohibiting the use of "meat" to describe products that are not derived from animals. Upton's Naturals Co. v. Bryant, No. 19-0462 (S.D. Miss., filed July 1, 2019). Upton's, which makes "vegan burgers," "vegan bacon" and "vegan chorizo," argues that the law is a "content-based regulation of speech" that "has no positive impact on society"—rather, it "harms society"—and "does not address any real problem in a meaningful way, but instead creates an artificial one" because it lowers consumer understanding of vegan products. Upton's seeks declaratory judgment that the law violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments, preliminary and permanent injunctions, attorney's fees and $1 in damages.

Pepperidge Farms Inc. faces a lawsuit alleging that a woman became ill with Salmonella gastroenteritis after eating the company’s Goldfish crackers, which purportedly contained contaminated dry whey powder. Finch v. Pepperidge Farms, Inc., No. 18-152 (N.D. Miss., filed August 8, 2018). The plaintiff alleges that she bought and ate the Goldfish on July 19, 2018, became ill that evening, and tested positive for Salmonella one week later. Pepperidge Farm issued a recall of four varieties of Goldfish after its supplier notified it of potential contamination. Claiming manufacturing-defect strict liability, failure-to-warn strict liability, negligence per se, negligence and breach of warranties, the plaintiff seeks damages and attorney’s fees.

A Mississippi appeals court has determined that neither McDonald’s Corp. nor one of its franchisees could be held liable for injuries allegedly resulting from a spatula-wielding cashier’s response to a dispute with a customer. Parmenter v. J&B Enters., Inc. No. 2010-CA-01251 (Miss. Ct. App., decided February 21, 2012). Affirming the trial court’s grant of summary judgment and directed verdict in favor of the defendants, the court determined that McDonald’s did not exercise the requisite level of control over the employee to be liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior and that the employee was not acting within the scope of her employment when she engaged in the altercation, thus rendering the franchisee not liable under the same doctrine. The plaintiff also brought claims of negligent hiring and training, and the appeals court found insufficient evidence to support either claim. The court further ruled that the trial court properly disqualified the plaintiff’s…