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Crunchberries and 17200

I was particularly interested in Michael Krauss's Crunchberries posts (here and here), not only because I happen to like artificially sweetened cereals but also because I take special interest in consumer-fraud class actions. In this instance, the class action is based on California's infamous section 17200, about which we have previously written at length.

That the plaintiffs' lawyer in this case actually thought his claim was sufficiently meritorious to warrant urging Michael to take another look at the case demonstrates just how pernicious that statute remains, even after Twombly, and even after the 2004 passage of Proposition 64, which purported to limit such abusive suits by enacting actual injury requirements. Indeed, the Ninth Circuit last year overturned a district court's dismissal of a similarly silly claim launched against Gerber's "Fruit Juice Snacks." In that case, the court felt that "the statement that Fruit Juice Snacks was made with 'fruit juice and other all natural ingredients' could easily be interpreted by consumers as a claim that all the ingredients in the product were natural, which appears to be false."

The American Tort Reform Association has published this extensive report on consumer fraud class actions, and the Manhattan Institute discussed section 17200 at this conference in 2002, before Proposition 64 was passed.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.