On July 28, 2020 WVBR obtained a major victory in ongoing consumer litigation against the nation’s leading pet food manufacturers and sellers challenging “prescription” pet food when the Ninth Circuit revived unfair competition, false advertising, and consumer legal remedies act claims on behalf of a putative class of California pet owners. Providing a solid overview of California’s consumer deception law, the Court agreed with plaintiff’s primary theory that the labeling of ‘prescription pet food’ is deceptive and misleading.
Common sense dictates that a product that requires a prescription may be considered a medicine that involves a drug or controlled substance. …This conforms to general understandings of prescription drugs for humans and pets. Moreover, the brand name of “prescription pet food” itself could be misleading. A reasonable consumer being told about “prescription pet food” may be surprised to learn that there are no drugs or controlled ingredient in the pet food by nature of brand names like “Prescription Diet” or an “Rx” symbol on the food packaging.
The Court also found that plaintiffs had adequately alleged fraud with particularity, and that they had standing to pursue the claims. The appeal was handled and argued by WVBR partner Michael von Loewenfeldt. A copy of the Court’s opinion can be found here: https://bit.ly/3344jCE.