Class Action

Santa Cruz Natural, Inc.

May 2017: After the FDA issued guidance regarding the use of the term “evaporated cane juice” and a federal judge dismissed some of the claims, this case was voluntarily dismissed When a complaint is dismissed with prejudice, it cannot be refiled. as to the named plaintiffs’ claims and When a complaint is dismissed without prejudice, an amended version of the complaint can be refiled. as to the class members’ claims. The reasons for the dismissal were not disclosed.

July 2014: After plaintiffs argued that, among other things, they would be “unfairly disadvantaged by a dismissal rather than a stay” because the statute of limitations (i. e. a statute that defines the time period within which a legal action may be taken) would likely expire before the FDA makes a final decision, a federal judge revived the lawsuit finding that it was appropriate to stay the action (i. e. delay the judicial proceedings).

April 2014: After the FDA announced it had not resolved the issue of whether evaporated cane juice is the common name of sugar, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit finding that it was appropriate for the court to defer to the FDA under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction (i. e. judicial doctrine where a court defers to an agency and allows the agency to decide an issue first).

September 2013: A class-action lawsuit was filed against Santa Cruz Natural, Inc. for allegedly misbranding its food products – including various flavors of soda and lemonades. Specifically, plaintiffs claim the company lists “organic evaporated cane juice” as an ingredient in food products when, according to plaintiffs, they actually contain “sugar” or “cane syrup.” (Swearingen et al. v. Santa Cruz Natural, Inc., Case No. 13-cv-4291, N. D. CA.).

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