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Dishing Out the Latest F&B Litigation Updates: Part 4

In the Wake of Monsanto, All Eyes are on the Cheerios Glyphosate Case

Doss v. General Mills, No. 18-cv-61924 (S.D. Fla Aug.17, 2018)

The Skinny:  Last fall, a jury in California awarded $289 million to a plaintiff who alleged he contracted cancer from the glyphosate in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.  Now that a bellwether trail has concluded with a substantial plaintiff win, attention shifts to the Southern District of Florida where a case is proceeding against General Mills alleging that Cheerios contains levels of the same chemical. Also see Paracha v. General Mills Inc., No. 2:18-cv-07659 for a similar case filed in a different jurisdiction.

The Meat and Potatoes: The World Health Organization categorized the herbicide as a “probable human carcinogen.” Plaintiff alleges General Mills deceived consumers into thinking that their products were safe by omitting information about the presence of the herbicide in cereals. In their motion to dismiss, General Mills argues that the FDA “imposes no requirement that labels of multi-ingredient foods like Cheerios disclose the potential presence of trace pesticides.” Nevertheless, Doss claims that even extremely low levels of this chemical can cause cancer and she would not have purchased either product if not for this deceptive conduct. The food and beverage industry should follow the case to see if a glyphosate case can withstand the rigorous Eleventh Circuit ascertainability standard in Karhu. This case also will likely answer the interesting question: do plaintiffs have standing to bring forth claims for remote health risks that they have not experienced?

Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

© 2020 Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 115

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About this Author

Lori Lustrin, Commercial Litigation Attorney, Bilzin Sumberg Law Firm
Partner

Lori is a general commercial litigator who focuses on complex class-action and plaintiff opt-out antitrust litigation in federal court. In addition to antitrust work, her class action experience includes defending clients in the consumer products, homebuilding, real estate investment, and food and beverage industries.

Lori has also taken an interest in the emerging area of healthcare antitrust litigation and she has authored several articles on the subject. In addition to her varied federal court work, Lori has substantial experience in complex business litigation...

305-350-2385
Melissa Pallet-Vasquez, Litigation Attorney, Bilzin Sumberg Law Firm
Partner

Melissa Pallett-Vasquez is a Partner in Bilzin Sumberg's Litigation Group. She handles complex commercial litigation matters, class actions and arbitrations, often on behalf of clients from Canada. Melissa represents clients in a number of areas including real estate-related contracts, partnership and joint venture agreements, defense of intentional tort claims, internal investigations and intellectual property litigation. Melissa has substantial courtroom experience, including numerous federal and state trials, as well as international and domestic arbitrations, and in...

305-350-2393