Ideas

Consumer Class Actions and Product Labeling: Consumer Protection or Opportunism?

Speeches & Presentations

Panelist, Class Action Money and Ethics Conference 2017

Investigations in the area of product labeling have expanded substantially in recent years. Regulators and consumer advocates are looking closely at labels designed to signal specific product attributes related to health, safety, environmental, and performance qualities. When the attribute information is challenged, it is becoming more common to encounter the related class-action litigation for damages to consumers from alleged mislabeling, especially with food products. Class-action labeling litigation can be an expensive “bet-the-company” process for product producers and it is increasingly being regarded as an example of baseless legal opportunism. Given the growth of these matters and their potential liability risk, it is worth investigating the current legal issues and economic methodology used to support mislabeling impact and damages claims.

Panelists will address:

  • the primary jurisdiction doctrine and the likely impacts of pending FDA guidance on the use of the term, “natural”
  • the measurement of common impact and economic damages in consumer fraud matters
  • the likely impact of the Ninth Circuit’s ConAgra opinion addressing a separate administrative feasibility prerequisite to class certification
  • labeling omissions and the failure to warn

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