A new analysis in Law 360 by two of the authors of ILR’s latest research paper takes an in-depth look at how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez has the potential to either slow or attract more food and beverage marketing litigation in the local courts in the nation’s capital. While California and New York are well-known hot spots for these lawsuits, D.C. is an increasingly important target for plaintiffs’ lawyers thanks to a unique provision of D.C’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA).
As explored in the research paper, The Food Court: Developments in Litigation Targeting Food and Beverage Marketing, advocacy groups are taking advantage of the CPPA to file dozens of lawsuits targeting food and beverage marketing. The CPPA allows them to do so as “private attorneys general,” sidestepping class certification requirements. Many plaintiffs also contend that fulfilling the CPPA’s minimal statutory requirements is sufficient to file suit.
According to the analysis, D.C. courts face a fork in the road in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s TransUnion decision, which clarified that a plaintiff is not automatically granted standing to sue a private defendant for violation of a statute such as the CPPA. If D.C. courts follow TransUnion and require plaintiffs to show they experienced a concrete injury, they will help ensure that the CPPA is used in response to actual harm to D.C. consumers.
If on the other hand, D.C. does not adhere to Article III, the local courts may become politicized and increasingly used by advocacy groups to promote their agendas.
The analysis was written by Cary Silverman, a partner at Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP, and James P. Muehlberger, a co-chair of the firm’s food, beverage, and agribusiness practice group.