October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019

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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.

© 2019 Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP

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Jennifer Junger Commercial LItigator Bilzin Sumberg Law Firm
Associate

Jennifer focuses her practice on commercial litigation. At George Washington University Law School, Jennifer was selected to participate in the Family Justice Litigation Clinic, where she was certified by the D.C. Court of Appeals to appear in court on Family Law matters. During law school, Jennifer served as a clerk for the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, as well as for the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Department of Justice. Jennifer also worked as a law clerk for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.

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Lori Lustrin, Mortgage Attorney, Bilzin Sumberg Law Firm
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Lori Lustrin is an associate in Bilzin Sumberg's Litigation Group. Lori’s practice focuses on antitrust and federal multidistrict class actions. She also has substantial experience in a broad range of complex business litigation matters, including intellectual property disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, land use litigation, bankruptcy litigation, employment disputes, professional malpractice actions, unfair and deceptive trade practices issues, fraud claims, defamation suits, products liability matters, and international arbitrations. Lori’s varied practice has allowed her to represent clients through trial and appeal, both in Florida and in federal courts across the country.

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Melissa Pallet-Vasquez, Litigation Attorney, Bilzen Sumberg Law Firm
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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...

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