June 26, 2013 Articles

It's a Pom Wonderful Life—Or Is It?

By Karen Woodward

In May 2012, the Ninth Circuit issued its decision in Pom Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., 679 F.3d 1170 (9th Cir. 2012). Pom involved claims over the name and labeling of a juice beverage and analyzed the justiciability of false-advertising-and-labeling suits that rely on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations as support for a plaintiff’s claims. The Ninth Circuit’s decision made clear that federal courts should not become involved in interpreting and applying agency regulations, which the court viewed as an affront to Congress’s intent to leave certain matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of federal agencies. The defendants hoped that Pom would preempt subsequent California matters involving FDA-based false-labeling claims, but its reach has not been as broad as anticipated.

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