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Oula Zakaria v. Gerber Prods. Co.

United States District Court for the Central District of California

August 9, 2017, Decided; August 9, 2017, Filed

LA CV15-00200 JAK (Ex)

Opinion

CIVIL MINUTES — GENERAL

Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) REDACTED ORDER RE

PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF CLASS NOTICE (DKT. 189)

PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO EXCLUDE EXPERT EVIDENCE, OPINIONS,AND TESTIMONY OF JAN BERNHISEL-BROADBENT AND RAVIDHAR (DKT. 194)

DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO EXCLUDE OPINIONS AND TESTIMONY OF PLAINTIFF'S EXPERT ELIZABETH HOWLETT, PH.D. (DKT. 217,REDACTED, DKT. 218, SEALED)

DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DECERTIFY THE RULE 23 DAMAGES CLASS (DKT. 220, REDACTED, DKT. 221, SEALED)

DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DKT. 224,REDACTED, DKT. 225, SEALED)

I. Introduction

A. In General

Oula Zakaria ("Plaintiff") filed this putative class action on January 9, 2015, advancing claims against Gerber Products Co. ("Defendant"). Complaint, Dkt. 1. The First Amended Complaint ("FAC" (Dkt. 26)), which is operative, presents the following causes of action: (i) unlawful business acts and practices in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200 et seq. ("UCL"); (ii) unfair and fraudulent business acts and practices in violation of the UCL; (iii) false advertising in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17500 et seq. ("FAL"); (iv) [*2]  violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act ("CLRA"), Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1750 et seq.; (v) breach of express warranty in violation of Cal. Comm. Code § 2313; (vi) breach of the implied warranty of merchantability in violation of Cal. Comm. Code § 2314; (vii) negligent misrepresentation; and (viii) intentional misrepresentation. Dkt. 26 ¶¶ 82-155.

The claims are based on allegations that Defendant falsely advertised Gerber Good Start Gentle ("Good Start Gentle"), which is an infant formula. Specifically, the FAC challenges the following statements about Good Start Gentle: (i) it is the first and only infant formula that reduces the risk that an infant will develop allergies; (ii) it will reduce the risk of developing infant atopic dermatitis; (iii) it is the first and only infant formula endorsed by the federal Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") to reduce the risk of developing allergies; and (iv) the FDA term of art "Qualified Health Claim" indicates FDA approval for the health claims advertised. Id. ¶ 3.

On March 23, 2016, the following class ("Class") was certified:

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2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221124 *

Oula Zakaria v. Gerber Products Co.

Subsequent History: Affirmed by Zakaria v. Gerber Prods. Co., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32240 (9th Cir. Cal., Nov. 14, 2018)

Prior History: Zakaria v. Gerber Prods. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80428 (C.D. Cal., June 18, 2015)

CORE TERMS

consumers, damages, Label, premium, argues, conjoint, allergies, calculate, restitution, products, infants, prices, formula, seal, scientific, class certification, infant formula, studies, dermatitis, hydrolyzed, atopic, reliable, food, partially, contends, regression, Decertify, container, summary judgment motion, actual damage