Fox News reports that a California Federal Judge has tossed a consumer class action that alleged Starbucks defrauded its customers by advertising its cold drinks as containing more liquid than they do by “underfilling” its cups with liquid and then adding ice to make the cups appear full. In his decision, U.S. District Judge Percey Anderson wrote “If children have figured out that including ice in a cold beverage decreases the amount of liquid they will receive, the court has no difficulty concluding that a reasonable consumer would not be deceived into thinking that when they order an iced tea, that the drink they receive will include both ice and tea and that for a given size cup, some portion of the drink will be ice rather than whatever liquid beverage the consumer ordered.” Please click on the following to read the entire opinion: StarbucksRuling
Today, February 23, 2016, Jennifer Artman of Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP testified for ATRA in support of Senate Bill 793, legislation to reform Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA). Artman noted the 678% growth in MMPA litigation from 2000-2009 and highlighted some egregious examples of abuse. According to Artman, S.B. 793 would make important and necessary changes to the MMPA to stop unwarranted and expensive litigation, and create a fairer environment for all litigants. To read Artman’s testimony, please click here.
On January 29, 2016, ATRA, in partnership with Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch, hosted a round table discussion in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on the state’s consumer protection statute. A video of the event can be found below. Participants included Jim Harris of the Coalition for Common Sense, Tiger Joyce of ATRA, Professor Joanna Shepherd of Emory University School of Law, Kevin Cunningham of Southern Strategy Group, Mark Beebe of Adams and Reese, and Tad Bartlett of Jones Swanson Huddell & Garrison. A white paper written by Professor Shepherd was released at the event and an op-ed by Professor Shepherd was published yesterday (2/17/16) by the Louisiana Record.
Today, January 29, 2016, at an event in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, ATRA released a new white paper, authored by Joanna Shepherd, Professor of Law at Emory University School of law, that focuses on the abuses and misuses of Louisiana’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection law. “Unfortunately for consumers and jobseekers, Louisiana has become notorious as one of the states where consumer protection laws can be most easily exploited by personal injury lawyers looking to become millionaires,” said ATRA President Tiger Joyce. “The steadily growing costs of LUTCPA lawsuits are invariably passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, and employers battered by preposterous lawsuits expand less and create fewer jobs than they would otherwise. Reasonably reforming the LUTCPA would help consumers, boost the state economy, and help Louisiana shake its reputation as a judicial hellhole.” To view the full report, please see below.
The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reports that class action lawyers are slated to reap millions in attorneys’ fees in a consumer class action settlement with Anheuser-Busch InBev. Plaintiffs alleged that consumers were duped into believing Anheuser-Busch’s Beck’s beer was a German import when in fact the beer was brewed in St. Louis, Missouri. In a statement to Law Blog, Katherine Barrett, the general counsel for Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. operations, said, “It’s certainly possible that the $3.5 million fee collected by the plaintiffs’ attorneys will outsize the benefit paid to consumers, an outcome that is increasingly more common in class action suits such as this.” To read the entire article, please click here.