Today’s consumer products advertising appears saturated with claims of health and fitness benefits—from vitamins that “support prostate health” (Johns v. Bayer Healthcare, LLC, No. 09-CV-1935-AJB, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13410, at *3 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 3, 2012)) and shoes designed to tone hamstrings, calves, and butts more than regular sneakers (Altieri v. Reebok Int’l, Ltd., Amended Class-Action Complaint, No. 4:10-CV-11977-FDS (D. Mass) at ¶ 22) to supplements that enhance a person’s immune system (Gianino v. Alacer Corp., No. SACV-09-01247-CJC, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32261, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 27, 2012)) or provide “great digestion through science” (Rikos v. The Procter & Gamble Co., No. 1:11-CV-226, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25104, at *2 (S.D. Ohio Feb. 28, 2012)). The companies that manufacture, market, and sell these products and tout these benefits often find themselves named as defendants in class-action lawsuits that challenge the accuracy of these health-benefit claims. Traditionally, California has been a favorite jurisdiction for the class-action plaintiff’s bar to file such false-advertising lawsuits, with its perceived plaintiff-friendly consumer-protection laws. However, plaintiffs may want to think twice before deciding to file a false-advertising class action in federal court in California in light of the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Mazza v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., 666 F.3d 581 (9th Cir. 2012).
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