Category: Uniform Commercial Code

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A Cereal. A Rabbi. A Peppercorn.

What can you say about an internet contracting strategy that died? I’m referring, of course, to General Mills’ abortive attempt to include new terms of service on all its internet and social media products, including an agreement to arbitrate and to waive any right to a class action, that came and went so fast I … Continue Reading

Turn your Bar Bill Into a Federal Case

A guy walks into a bar, orders some drinks, gets the bill and pays it, leaves and sues. A federal district court has no choice but not to dismiss his claim on the pleadings, but he is unlikely to prevail in the end, because he had no reasonable expectation he was going to negotiate a reasonable price with the bar, but rather that the bar was going to charge him its stated price.… Continue Reading

Unmitigated Chutzpah: The CSPI’s Merchantability Claim Against Safeway

Ken posted about some general issues related to the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s claims against Safeway related to the decision not to use its Club Card data to publicize recalls. Hidden among the claims, however, is a claim for breach of the warranty of merchantability that is so breathtakingly extensive it requires a … Continue Reading

Why CSPI’s Loyalty Card Suit Has No Merit and Does Not Promote Food Safety

Following the playbook it has followed in the past with sodium and other issues, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has filed yet another complaint of very questionable legal merit to promote a policy agenda. This time CSPI seeks to compel all retailers to use loyalty cards as a recall alert system. … Continue Reading

“Sweet” and “Natural”: Can One Word Have Meaning And One Not?

While the term "natural" has meanings so subjective that its use or misuse would be hard to enforce, the term "sweet" has a pretty obvious meaning.in most contexts. So Ben & Jerry's may have little to worry about in a lawsuit claiming its use of dutched cocoa made its "All Natural" ice cream unnatural, while someone who slaps the word "sweet" on an ordinary onion is likely to be in breach of an express warranty as well as the warranty of merchantability under the UCC.… Continue Reading

Aurora Dairy Organic Milk Case: Eighth Circuit Preempts Some Claims And Remands Others

As we reported some time ago, a class action suit was pending in the Eastern District of Missouri against Aurora Dairy, its organic certifier and certain retailers for violation of state consumer protection laws. The district court had dismissed the case on the grounds that all claims were preempted by the Organic Foods Production Act … Continue Reading

How Virgin is Your Olive Oil?

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is finally revising its standards for olive oil, promulgated way back in 1948, to bring them in line with the International Olive Council (IOC), an organization established under United Nations auspices that represents 98% of the world’s olive oil production, nearly all in the … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Decision Casts Doubt on Merchantability Claim in CSPI Suit Against Denny’s

The recent case against Denny's brought by the Center for Science in the Public Interest in New Jersey claims that food was inadquately labeled in violation of the implied warranty of merchantability. A recent Ninth Circuit case indicates that this claim should fail because there was no specific contract between the plaintiff and Denny's requiring that food be labeled to plaintiff's satisfaction.… Continue Reading

Facts Alleged in CSPI Sodium Suit Incongruent with Claims Asserted

Thought to be the first putative class action against a restaurant chain related to disclosure of sodium content on menus, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has filed what appears to be a test case against Denny’s. Best guess is the case will fail on its merits (though for CSPI, success in litigation may not be the … Continue Reading

Settlements and Implied Warranties

Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code contains powerful tools for buyers and sellers of food and other goods.  A recent case out of the Georgia Supreme Court emphasizes the critical gatekeeper function of the scope section of Article 2, Section 2-102.  This section provides: Unless the context otherwise requires, this Article applies to transactions … Continue Reading
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