Sidley successfully defended Texas-based Midway Importing, Inc. against a putative class action alleging that a soap manufactured by Grisi (a Mexican company) and distributed in the United States by Midway was falsely labeled “natural.” Plaintiffs filed their lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, seeking to extend California’s consumer protection laws extra-territorially far beyond the borders of the state. In opposing Midway’s motion to dismiss, plaintiffs advanced an aggressive theory of liability under California’s consumer protection statutes that would expand liability to all entities in a product’s chain of commerce, including retailers and distributors. If adopted, that theory would open the doors to proxy litigation in U.S. courts against domestic importers, distributors, and retailers standing in the shoes of foreign manufacturers otherwise beyond the courts’ jurisdictional reach. Sidley vigorously argued against this theory, and in July 2019 the district court agreed, dismissing the case with prejudice. On October 26, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed. Amy Lally (Century City) led the Sidley team, which also included Alexandria Ruiz (Los Angeles).
Sidley Secures Appellate Victory Affirming Dismissal in Soap Labeling Class Action
October 27, 2020