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Reese v. Odwalla, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

March 25, 2014

Robin Reese , individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
Odwalla, Inc. and the Coca-Cola Co. , Defendants

Page 936

For Robin Reese, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff: Ben F. Pierce Gore, LEAD ATTORNEY, Pratt & Associates, San Jose, CA; Keith M. Fleischman, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, The Fleischman Law Firm, New York, NY; Bradley F Silverman, PRO HAC VICE, Ananda N. Chaudhuri, Fleischman Law Firm, New York, NY.

For Odwalla, Inc., Coca-Cola Company, The, Defendants: Gary T. Lafayette, LEAD ATTORNEY, Lafayette & Kumagai LLP, San Francisco, CA; Jennifer Alice Dixon, PRO HAC VICE, Patterson Belknap Webb Tyler LLP, New York, NY; Steven A. Zalesin, Travis J. Tu, PRO HAC VICE, Patterson Belknap Webb and Tyler LLP, New York, NY.

OPINION

Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, United States District Judge.

Page 937

Order Granting Motion To Dismiss In Part And Staying Case

Plaintiff Robin Reese (" Plaintiff" ) brings this putative class action against Defendants Odwalla, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company (" Defendants" ) alleging that certain of Defendants' products have labels that do not comply with the requirements of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (" FDCA" ), as adopted by the California Sherman Law, Cal. Health & Safety Code section 109875, et seq. (" Sherman Law" ). Plaintiff alleges seven claims under California law: (1) violation of the California Unfair Competition Law (" UCL" ); (2) violation of Cal. Business and Professions Code section 17200, based on unfair, unlawful and fraudulent conduct; (3) violation of the California False Advertising Law (" FAL" ); (4) violation of California Business and Professions Code section 17500, for misleading and untrue advertising; (5) violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civil Code section 1750, et seq.; (6) misrepresentation of goods to consumers; and (7) quasi-contract relief based upon an unjust enrichment theory.

Defendants have filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, to Strike Portions of Plaintiff's Complaint on the grounds that Plaintiff's complaint does not state a predicate claim for violation of the

Page 938

California Sherman Law; her claims are preempted by federal law; at a minimum, the Court should defer under the primary jurisdiction doctrine; and the claims for nationwide class relief and the claims against the Fanta Zero Orange product should be stricken. (Dkt. No. 28.)

Having carefully considered the papers submitted and the pleadings in this action, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court hereby Grants the Motion to Dismiss In Part and Stays the instant action.[1]

I. Summary Of Allegations

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants currently make and market a number of beverages and energy bars which list " Evaporated Cane Juice" or " Organic Evaporated Cane Juice" as an ingredient. Plaintiffs allege that all such products are misbranded because the use of the term " Evaporated Cane Juice" (hereinafter, sometimes, " ECJ" ) is a violation of federal and California law governing food ...


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