Can the Courts Keep Our Food Safe?

According to news sources, the food and beverage industry continues to face increasing scrutiny over labeling and advertising. Despite the pandemic, the number of class actions targeting the food and beverage industry increased last year and shows no signs of slowing down in 2021.

The top five categories of food and beverage class action filings were false labeling, followed by cases challenging products flavored with vanilla, “all natural” cases, place of origin cases, and slack-fill cases. In 2020, New York had the most class action cases filed. California came in second, with Missouri and Washington, D.C., a distant third and fourth.

The number of class actions filed against beverage companies in New York increased while the number of cases filed in California decreased.

Though class actions increased, the overall number of food sector cases were at a five-year low with approximately 80,000 cases filed nationally in 2020. Accounting for all these filings, the top three jurisdictions for food law cases were the state courts in Wisconsin and California, with the California federal courts coming in third.

The American Bar Association reports. “Given the competitive plant-based protein segment, the food and beverage industry should expect a substantial uptick in litigation.” 

The year 2020 saw a 10-year high in food and beverage class action filings. Overall, there was an 80 percent increase in class action filings from the prior year. The upward trend in class action litigation and the burgeoning area of plant-based products suggest that the business of food litigation is anything but stale.

From the farm to the store to your table, where there’s food, there will probably be disputes about it. They are EVERYWHERE. And when those things negatively impact YOU and/or YOUR business including bankruptcies, landlord/tenant matters including unlawful detainers, contract issues, nuisance ADA claims and even collections, call in your good guy business litigator, Dean Sperling to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind!

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