SAN DIEGO (Legal Newsline) – Campbell
Soup Company has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit of a California man who alleges the company misleadingly labels and advertises a certain soup.
Harold Brower, of Escondido, filed a class action lawsuit April 25 in U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of California against Campbell’s, alleging breach of
implied and express warranties and violations of California business and civil
The suit alleges Campbell's labels and advertises its Healthy Request chunky grilled chicken and sausage
gumbo soup as healthy, but the plaintiff said it actually contains artificial
trans fat in the form of partially hydrogenated soybean oil.
the complaint states, is bad for health, and increases an individual's risk of
heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
In its motion to dismiss, Campbell’s argues the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s review and pre-approval process for
labels preempts the suit, because that regulatory framework specifically looks
at whether labels are false or misleading, and includes “pervasive” regulations
relating to “health” claims, David Ter Molen told Legal Newsline. Ter Molen is a partner with Freeborn & Peters
contends that these regulations, as propounded pursuant to the Poultry Products
Inspection Act and the Federal Meat Inspection Act, prohibit any consumer
protection claims under state law,” Ter Molen said.
Whether the court accepts that this suit seeks to impose requirements on already-approved labels that add to or differ from the USDA’s requirements relating to
healthy claims will be key, Ter Molen said.
cases, courts have rejected preemption arguments on the grounds that the
lawsuit seeks to help, rather than hinder, the federal objectives," he said.
"Here the defendants may have an uphill claim to the extent the court agrees with
Campbell that its labels fully comply with USDA regulations for ‘healthy’
claims, which do not expressly prohibit the existence of trans fats.”