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August 29, 2018

Growing Amount of Food Litigation Making “Mockery” of Justice System, Attorney Says

Cary Silverman, a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, told the ABA Journal that the growing number of slack fill lawsuits is making a “mockery of the civil justice system.”

Silverman, who co-authored a paper on the issue that was released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform last year, said he believes the number of slack fill lawsuit filings, or suits that allege food products are deceptively under-filled, have “only grown since we wrote that report.” According to Silverman’s research, there were 10 slack fill cases filed between 2013- 2014. That number grew to 29 in 2015 to 37 in 2016.

These lawsuits are “extremely easy to bring,” Silverman said. “Go over to the supermarket and shake a box. And if it rattles, that’s a lawsuit.” Silverman’s report also points to the high attorneys’ fees that provide an incentive to sue. In the certified class actions studied, about half of the settlement money often went to lawyers.

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