Food and Beverage Class Actions: Litigating False Advertising, Labeling, Slack-Fill Packaging or Food Safety Claims

Navigating Issues of Ascertainability, Predominance, Preemption, Standing and More

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide class litigators with a deep dive into pursuing and defending against class action lawsuits targeting the food and beverage industry businesses. The panel will review recent court rulings in class suits against food and beverage manufacturers, distributors, and retailers based on false advertising, mislabeling, slack-fill packaging, and food safety violations. The panel will offer their perspectives and insights, outlining practical strategies for plaintiff and defense counsel to address both the merits of the claims and certification as a class action.


Food and beverage manufacturers, distributors and retailers are facing a rapidly growing number and type of class action filings alleging false advertising, mislabeling, deceptive packaging, food-borne illnesses, and contaminated products. Monetary damages are often astronomical, i.e., based on annual sales of the product, punitive and statutory damages, and attorney fees and costs.

Historically a target for personal injury class claims, food and beverage businesses are facing an escalation in class claims based on misleading food labeling using descriptors, such as "natural," "organic," "ethically sourced" or "GMO free," and apparently deceptive "weight out" changes (reducing the amount of product with non-functional slack-fill in oversized but familiar packaging).

Pursuing or defending class suits against food and beverage businesses requires counsel to navigate and distinguish the boundaries among and between various federal laws and agency regulations (FDA, FTC and U.S. Department of Agriculture) and state consumer protection laws. Plaintiff and defense counsel must consider preemption, primary jurisdiction, plausibility, and standing to pursue claims or obtain a dismissal.

Listen as our authoritative panel of class action counsel discusses current trends and case law developments in food and beverage class action lawsuits. The panel will outline strategies for plaintiff and defense attorneys to increase the likelihood of success during class certification and at trial.



  1. Food and beverage class actions: latest legal trends and developments
    1. False advertising
    2. Mislabeling
    3. Slack-fill packaging
    4. Food safety
  2. Litigation strategies: plaintiff and defense perspective
    1. At certification
    2. At trial


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Strategies and tactics for plaintiffs' counsel in pursuing food and beverage class actions
  • Defense counsel approaches to prevail at certification and trial in food and beverage class claims
  • Latest legislative and case law developments impacting food and beverage claims


Boone, Robert
Robert E. Boone, III

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Mr. Boone is the Leader of the Firm's Class and Derivative Actions Client Service Group. His practice focuses...  |  Read More

Phillips, Robert
Robert D. Phillips, Jr.

Alston & Bird

Mr. Phillips is a business litigator with nearly 40 years of experience assisting numerous companies in high-stakes...  |  Read More

Sipos, Charles
Charles C. Sipos

Perkins Coie

Mr. Sipos litigates complex commercial cases, with a focus on class action litigation and an emphasis on defending...  |  Read More

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