![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]>
Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
October 9, 2018, Submitted, Seattle, Washington; November 14, 2018, Filed
Oula Zakaria appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant Gerber Products Co. (Gerber) on her California state law claims for restitution and actual, punitive, and statutory damages as well as its order decertifying a putative class of purchasers of Gerber's Good Start Gentle infant formula.
] We review the district court's decision to decertify [**2] the class for abuse of discretion and its grant of summary judgment de novo. Leyva v. Medline Indus. Inc., 716 F.3d 510, 513 (9th Cir. 2013); Metoyer v. Chassman, 504 F.3d 919, 930 (9th Cir. 2007). We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we affirm.
1. The district court did not abuse its discretion by decertifying the class on the ground that Zakaria had failed to provide an adequate basis to calculate restitution under California's Unfair Competition Law ("UCL"), False Advertising Law ("FAL"), or Consumer Legal Remedies Act ("CLRA"), and actual damages under the CLRA.
As a threshold matter, the district court committed no legal error by assessing the validity of Dr. Howlett's conjoint analysis after first deciding that Zakaria's damages theory matched her theory of liability under Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 569 U.S. 27, 133 S. Ct. 1426, 185 L. Ed. 2d 515 (2013). See Lambert v. Nutraceutical Corp., 870 F.3d 1170 (9th Cir. 2017) (holding that ] difficulties with calculating class-wide damages will not defeat class certification, but only if "a valid method has been proposed for calculating those damages").
] Under California consumer protection laws, plaintiffs can measure class-wide damages using methods that evaluate what a consumer would have been willing to pay for the product had it been labeled accurately. See Pulaski & Middleman, LLC v. Google, Inc., 802 F.3d 979, 989 (9th Cir. 2015). Such methods must, however, reflect supply-side considerations and marketplace realities that would affect product pricing. Accordingly, [**3] the district court's subsequent holding that Dr. Howlett's conjoint analysis was inadequate for measuring class-wide damages was not illogical, implausible, or without support in the record. See United States v. Hinkson, 585 F.3d 1247, 1263 (9th Cir. 2009). Dr. Howlett's conjoint analysis did not reflect market realities and prices for infant formula products. Dr. Howlett's conjoint analysis [*625] showed only how much consumers subjectively valued the 1st and Only Seal, not what had occurred to the actual market price of Good Start Gentle with or without the label. Thus, regardless whether consumers were willing to pay a higher price for the labelled product, the expert's opinion did not contain any evidence that such higher price was actually paid; hence, no evidence of restitution or actual damages was proffered.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
755 Fed. Appx. 623 *; 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32240 **; 2018 WL 5977897
OULA ZAKARIA, individually as a representative the class, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. GERBER PRODUCTS CO., a corporation, d/b/a NESTLE NUTRITION, NESTLE INFANT NUTRITION, and NESTLE NUTRITION NORTH AMERICA, Defendant-Appellee,
Notice: PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. 2:15-cv-00200-JAK-E. Kronstadt, J., District Judge, Presiding.
Oula Zakaria v. Gerber Prods. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221124 (C.D. Cal., Aug. 9, 2017)
advertising, damages, actual damage, decertifying, consumers, conjoint, district court, restitution, calculating, class-wide, adduced, label, statutory damages, punitive damages, summary judgment, infant formula, putative class, willing to pay, high prices, auction-based, Products, space—a, online, prices, bid
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Summary Judgment, Appellate Review, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Class Actions, Certification of Classes, Decertification, Special Proceedings, Certification of Classes, Remedies, Damages, Antitrust & Trade Law, Consumer Protection, Consumer Protection, False Advertising, State Regulation, Contracts Law, Restitution, Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices, Class Actions, Damages, Punitive Damages, Compensatory Damages