Summary: In a case alleging a failure to disclose the presence of toxic heavy metals in baby food, a California federal judge granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss. The judge found that plaintiffs have Article III standing and that their cause of action for failure to disclose is not preempted by Federal law.
Key Takeaways: In In re Plum Baby Food Litigation, plaintiffs allege that Plum PBC fails to disclose that its baby food products contain, or have a risk of containing, arsenic, cadmium, mercury and perchlorate. According to Plaintiffs, Plum uses deceptive, unfair and false labeling to obscure the potential presence of toxic metals in its baby food products and charge a price premium for what is labelled and advertised as high quality organic healthy baby food.Read More
Summary: Eighth Circuit affirms that a plaintiff does not have standing to sue for a defective product unless the defect has actually manifested.
Key Takeaways: In In re Polaris Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, 9 F.4th 793 (8th Cir. 2021), the purchasers of off-road vehicles filed a putative class action against the manufacturer and designer of the vehicles based on allegations that the vehicles’ engines overheat and cause fires. Half of the named plaintiffs alleged their vehicles caught fire, while the other half alleged only a risk of fire. The Eighth Circuit upheld the District of Minnesota’s decision that a plaintiff whose vehicle had not experienced a fire – i.e., the alleged defect had not manifested in their vehicles – lacked Article III standing to sue because they had no injury in fact. The “no-fire” plaintiffs contended that they suffered economic damages because they would not have purchased the vehicles or they would have paid less if they had known about the alleged defect. This was not enough: “In the context of defective products, . . . it is not enough for a plaintiff to allege that a product line contains a defect or that a product is at risk for manifesting this defect; rather, the plaintiffs must allege that their product actually exhibited the alleged defect.” Without manifestation, there was no injury and, accordingly, no standing.