Food & Beverage

  • April 10, 2024

    Starbucks Fired Barista For Having Panic Attack, Court Told

    A Starbucks manager berated a barista who suffered from anxiety and depression until he had a panic attack, then fired him, according to a suit filed in Florida federal court.

  • April 10, 2024

    EPA Finalizes First-Ever PFAS Drinking Water Standards

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced the final version of its first-ever regulatory limits on "forever chemicals" in drinking water, a move the EPA said will be accompanied by nearly $1 billion in new funding for implementation.

  • April 09, 2024

    9th Circ. Says Hotel, Restaurant Virus Losses Not Covered

    The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday said two groups of Washington state restaurants and hotels can't claim COVID-related business losses under their insurance policies because they failed to show they physically lost functional use of their properties as a result of the virus.

  • April 09, 2024

    Dole Escapes Fruit Snack False Ad Suit, For Now

    A California federal judge has tossed a proposed class action accusing Dole Packaged Foods LLC of falsely labeling its fruit snacks as nutritious and healthy when the products are filled with sugar, saying the challenged statements are "puffery."

  • April 09, 2024

    Starbucks' Calif. Stores Lack Lactation Spaces, Suit Says

    A Starbucks employee brought a proposed class action in California state court on behalf of similarly situated workers in the Golden State over the coffeehouse chain's "systemic failure" to provide adequate lactation spaces and sufficient pumping time for nursing employees.

  • April 09, 2024

    StarKist, PE Co. Settle Tuna Price-Fixing Claims For $3.9M

    Canned tuna buyers are hoping to settle their long-running price-fixing suit with StarKist and Bumble Bee, asking a California federal judge for preliminary approval of two class action payouts worth a total of $3.87 million.

  • April 09, 2024

    Lack Of Evidence Kills Pupuseria's Bid For H-2B Line Cooks

    A U.S. Department of Labor appeals board affirmed the rejection of a California pupuseria's request to hire two line cooks under the H-2B temporary foreign worker program, finding that a certifying officer correctly determined that the business failed to show it had a seasonal need for the employees.

  • April 09, 2024

    Challengers To H-2A Wage Rule Denied Extra Discovery

    A federal judge has refused to let agricultural businesses gather more information on the decision-making behind new H-2A agricultural worker minimum wages, rejecting claims that more discovery was warranted in light of a September order allowing the wages to take hold.

  • April 09, 2024

    UK Court Affirms Sweet VAT Ruling For Jumbo Marshmallows

    Jumbo-size marshmallows are not candy like regular marshmallows because they're meant to be roasted, so they qualify for a value-added tax exemption for food, the U.K. Upper Tribunal ruled in upholding a lower court's findings.

  • April 09, 2024

    Jury Must Hear Terrorism Payments Were Extortion, Chiquita Says

    Banana company Chiquita argued Tuesday it should not be blocked from presenting evidence about threats made to its employees by a Colombian paramilitary group and about other businesses making payments to the group at a coming bellwether trial in a long-running multidistrict litigation accusing Chiquita of funding the paramilitary group that allegedly killed the plaintiffs' relatives.

  • April 09, 2024

    Tenn. Justices Don't Let Trader Joe's Avoid Direct Claims

    The Tennessee Supreme Court has decided not to let Trader Joe's East Inc. escape direct liability and premises liability claims in a slip-and-fall suit by admitting that one of its employees is at fault, saying that the rule the store proposed doesn't fit with the state's comparative fault system.

  • April 09, 2024

    Medieval Times Drops Appeal In TM Battle With Union

    Medieval Times has dropped its bid to revive trademark infringement claims against the labor union representing its entertainers, according to a filing in the Third Circuit.

  • April 08, 2024

    Red Robin Reaches $600K Deal To End EEOC Claims In Wash.

    Red Robin has agreed to pay $600,000 and bolster its anti-sexual harassment policies to end a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit alleging a line cook in Washington state retaliated against female co-workers for objecting to his offensive comments, according to a proposed consent decree filed in federal court in Seattle.

  • April 08, 2024

    H-2A Workers Want OK On $900K OT Deal With Va. Farms

    Two Mexican farmworkers are asking a Virginia federal court to greenlight their $900,000 settlement with an agricultural association and two farms that they say cheated temporary workers out of $2.5 million in overtime pay.

  • April 08, 2024

    Mich. Judge Not Persuaded Wineries' Agritourism Is Speech

    A Michigan federal judge has found a local ban on wineries hosting weddings is not a commercial speech restriction despite the advertising potential of such events, again trimming a contentious zoning dispute ahead of trial. 

  • April 08, 2024

    High Court Creating DEI Headwinds, Colo. AG Says

    Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said Monday that the state's major losses last year in cases involving gay rights and prosecuting threatening speech were part of what he views as a trend at the U.S. Supreme Court of hampering efforts to increase diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • April 08, 2024

    Pepperidge Farm Distributor Can Keep Delivering Cookies

    Pepperidge Farms will have to keep using a distributor that is suing the cookie company for showing up with six moving vans on a Friday night to seize its inventory, after the California federal judge who handed down the preliminary injunction accused Pepperidge Farms of trying to "hijack" the distributorship.

  • April 08, 2024

    Feds Say Cannabis Cos. Can't Challenge CSA Pot Ban

    The U.S. government is urging a Massachusetts federal court to throw out a suit by several cannabis companies alleging the ban on cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act is unconstitutional, saying they don't have standing to sue because their activities aren't being prosecuted.

  • April 08, 2024

    8th Circ. Upholds NLRB's Broad Remedies Against Meat Co.

    The Eighth Circuit on Monday upheld a National Labor Relations Board decision finding a meat processor in Nebraska illegally bargained in bad faith with a United Food and Commercial Workers affiliate, backing the board's broad remedies order that included reimbursing the union for negotiating expenses.

  • April 08, 2024

    Farmers Want USDA Barred From 'Discriminatory' Aid Choices

    A group of Texas farmers asked a federal judge to bar the U.S. Department of Agriculture from prioritizing minority groups as a part of a distribution scheme for the agency's disaster assistance and pandemic relief programs, saying the programs continue to cause harm to them and the public.

  • April 08, 2024

    Starbucks Drops TM Suit After Fake Websites Go Dark

    Starbucks has agreed to drop a trademark lawsuit claiming a pair of websites ripped off its "twin-tailed siren" logo and other brand material to sell fake franchise deals, saying in a recent Washington federal court filing that the allegedly unauthorized activity has stopped.

  • April 08, 2024

    Hormel Settling Pork Price-Fixing Claims For Over $11M

    Three plaintiff classes in the ongoing pork price-fixing litigation against Hormel Foods have reached preliminary settlements worth over $11 million with the company and are now asking the Minnesota federal judge overseeing the case to grant them initial approval.

  • April 08, 2024

    Catching Up With Delaware's Chancery Court

    Last week, a much-watched Chancery Court Match.com decision got reversed, a Philip Morris motion got stubbed out, and a long-frozen Blue Bell Creameries suit started churning again. Delaware's Court of Chancery also saw new suits filed for legal fees, arguments over multibillion-dollar pay packages, and a judge flummoxed over Truth Social.

  • April 08, 2024

    Hotel Co. Comes Out On Top In Passover Fiasco Row 

    A bench trial over a "Passover celebration gone wrong" at a Pennsylvania hotel ended Friday largely in favor of the hotel operator, with $1,447.60 in contract damages for the caterer plaintiff offset by a $5,164.28 judgment in the hotel's favor for damages allegedly caused by guests who created plumbing issues.

  • April 08, 2024

    Glancy Prongay To Lead EB-5 Grocery Co. Fraud Stock Suit

    Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP will lead a proposed class action alleging Asian specialty grocery chain Maison Solutions' stock price was severely damaged after a third-party research report accused it and its executives of participating in illegal activities, including using supermarkets as a front for immigration fraud.

Expert Analysis

  • Take AG James' Suit Over Enviro Claims As A Warning

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    New York Attorney General Letitia James' recent suit against JBS USA Food Co. over allegedly misleading claims about its goal to reach net zero by 2040 indicates that challenges to green claims are likely to continue, and that companies should think twice about ignoring National Advertising Division recommendations, say attorneys at Kelley Drye.

  • Series

    Spray Painting Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experiences as an abstract spray paint artist have made me a better litigator, demonstrating — in more ways than one — how fluidity and flexibility are necessary parts of a successful legal practice, says Erick Sandlin at Bracewell.

  • Judge-Shopping Policy Revisal May Make Issue Worse

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    The Judicial Conference at its March meeting unveiled a revised policy with the stated goal of limiting litigants’ ability to judge-shop in patent cases, but the policy may actually exacerbate the problem by tying the issue to judge-shopping in polarizing political cases, making reform more difficult, say Robert Niemeier and William Milliken at Sterne Kessler.

  • 2nd Circ. Baby Food Ruling Disregards FDA's Expertise

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    The Second Circuit's recent decision in White v. Beech-Nut Nutrition, refusing to defer litigation over heavy metals in baby food until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration weighs in on the issue, provides no indication that courts will resolve the issue with greater efficiency than the FDA, say attorneys at Phillips Lytle.

  • A Rainbow Of Lessons From Fruity Pebbles' TTAB Loss

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    The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s January decision to deny Post Foods' bid to register a trademark on its Fruity Pebbles cereal brand underscores the importance of the interplay among mark description, mark drawing and goods identification when seeking protection for trade dress, say Troy Viger and Jenevieve Maerker at Finnegan.

  • Assessing FDA Pathways For Genome-Edited Plant Foods

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    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent clarification of the regulatory pathways for foods produced from genome-edited plants seeks to strike a balance between public health and innovation, and may hold broader significance for developers of novel human foods subject to voluntary notification programs, say Emily Marden and Diane McEnroe at Sidley Austin.

  • TTAB Ruling May Broaden Alcohol Trademark Analysis

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    A February U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision that wine is inherently related to bars and cocktail lounges for trademark protection purposes appears to broaden the scope of exclusivity, highlighting that the more similar the marks, the less related the products must be for the TTAB to refuse registration, says William Borchard at Cowan Liebowitz.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Is Imperative This Election Year

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    As the next election nears, the judges involved in the upcoming trials against former President Donald Trump increasingly face political pressures and threats of violence — revealing the urgent need to safeguard judicial independence and uphold the rule of law, says Benes Aldana at the National Judicial College.

  • Document Retention Best Practices To Lower Litigation Risks

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    As new technologies emerge and terabytes of data can be within the purview of a single discovery request, businesses small and large should take four document management steps to effectively minimize risks of litigation and discovery sanctions long before litigation ensues, says Kimbrilee Weber at Norris McLaughlin.

  • Series

    Riding My Peloton Bike Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Using the Peloton platform for cycling, running, rowing and more taught me that fostering a mind-body connection will not only benefit you physically and emotionally, but also inspire stamina, focus, discipline and empathy in your legal career, says Christopher Ward at Polsinelli.

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • CSA Case Could Shift Intrastate Commercial Cannabis

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    In Canna Provisions v. Merrick Garland, cannabis companies argue that the Controlled Substances Act is unconstitutional as applied to intrastate commercial cannabis activity; the Massachusetts federal court's eventual decision will be important to the cannabis industry for several reasons, including that the threat of federal enforcement would disappear overnight, says Hilary Bricken at Husch Blackwell.

  • What Recent Study Shows About AI's Promise For Legal Tasks

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    Amid both skepticism and excitement about the promise of generative artificial intelligence in legal contexts, the first randomized controlled trial studying its impact on basic lawyering tasks shows mixed but promising results, and underscores the need for attorneys to proactively engage with AI, says Daniel Schwarcz at University of Minnesota Law School.

  • Legal Considerations For Circular Economy Strategies

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    As circular economy goals — generating revenue at multiple points in a product's life cycle — become nearly ubiquitous in corporate sustainability practices, companies should reassess existing strategies by focusing on government incentives, regulations, and reporting and disclosure requirements, say Rachel Saltzman and Erin Grisby at Hunton.

  • Preempting Bottled Water Microplastics Fraud Claims

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    Food products like bottled water are increasingly likely to be targets of consumer fraud complaints due to alleged microplastics contamination — but depending on the labeling or advertising at issue, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act can provide a powerful preemption defense, say Tariq Naeem and Brenda Sweet at Tucker Ellis.

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