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Food Litigation

Faegre Baker Daniels represents many of the world's leading food, feed and dietary supplement manufacturers, distributors and retailers in litigation arising from recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks, consumer fraud class actions, labeling challenges, government enforcement actions and supply chain disputes. In so doing, we have acquired specialized knowledge of the litigation issues unique to the food industry. Our food litigation and regulatory practice is nationally ranked by Chambers USA — a distinction awarded to only eight firms in the U.S.

With roots in the Midwest and a national and international practice in the fields of food and agriculture, we have developed extensive knowledge and understanding of a variety of food-related industries, food manufacturing and production, food safety and HACCP, distribution and retailing, supply chain management, labeling and advertising, inspections and regulatory enforcement actions, and related risk management issues. When clients hire our food litigators, they hire a team which intimately understands the food industry, its practices and the potential problems its members face.

Our experience is deep-rooted in defending companies in litigation and regulatory matters arising from all aspects of food and dietary supplement production, labeling, distribution and sale. We represent clients in a variety of related litigation, including the prosecution and defense of unfair competition claims, commercial indemnification claims, defense of actions brought under consumer protection and trade regulation statutes, and representing food and agricultural companies in general commercial litigation.

Representative Clients

We have a long history of representing many market leaders in the food, feed and dietary supplement industries, including major producers, distributors and retailers of meat and poultry, eggs, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouts, cereal, dairy products, dietary supplements, pet food, animal feed, and ethanol byproducts.

Our Experience in Food Litigation

  • Representing a ground turkey producer with an expansive 2011 Salmonella -related recall, defending all foodborne illness litigation and claims against it on a national basis
  • Representing major grocery wholesaler and retailer in foodborne illness claims arising out of nationwide outbreak of listeriosis connected with cantaloupes
  • Securing a full dismissal with prejudice of all claims against a Fortune 500 food company in a putative class action involving false advertising and consumer fraud claims relating to the labeling and marketing of deli meat and poultry products
  • Defending national restaurant chain in connection with commercial claims arising out of alleged Listeria monocytogenes contamination
  • Representing the world's largest beef packer in foodborne illness litigation arising from a 2009 E. coli outbreak, including claims involving hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)
  • Representing a dietary supplement manufacturer in numerous consumer fraud class actions in California arising out of its product labeling and marketing practices
  • Advising produce importers through recall process and counseled on litigation risk issues connected with potential Salmonella contamination of mangos
  • National counsel for large yogurt manufacturer, defending against consumer fraud class actions alleging misbranding of Greek yogurt products
  • National coordinating counsel for one of two egg producers involved in the massive 2010 Salmonella outbreak, defending personal injury, class action, unfair competition and commercial claims, as well as related FDA investigation and regulatory compliance issues
  • Serving as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel for the world's largest fruit and vegetable processor, coordinating the defense of foodborne illness litigation, including E. coli -related claims and labeling challenges arising from the high-profile spinach recall in 2006; consistent with the client's goal, secured early settlement of hundreds of cases through mediation and successfully avoided case consolidation in multi-district litigation
  • Representing cereal manufacturer in commercial claims against ingredient manufacturer and distributor arising out of recall of nonfat dry milk contaminated with Salmonella
  • Serving as national counsel for a peanut butter distributor facing wrongful death and personal injury claims in connection with the 2008-09 PCA Salmonella outbreak
  • Representing a major seed supplier with respect to 2009 Salmonella outbreaks involving alfalfa sprouts in Midwestern states
  • Serving as co-counsel for a ground beef producer with multiple lawsuits and claims arising from a 2006 E. coli outbreak and recall of frozen hamburger patties
  • Defending a national commodities distributor involved in melamine-contaminated pet food litigation, advising the company through the recall process and FDA investigation, representing the company in connection with the class action settlement of MDL consumer claims, and defending breach of warranty, breach of contract and indemnity claims and lawsuits seeking recall costs and lost profits totaling more than $50 million
  • National counsel for a major food distributor with an E. coli outbreak in chain restaurants in 2006, successfully obtaining summary judgment for the distributor, obtaining declaratory judgment requiring indemnity and defense from an upstream supplier, and securing dismissal of class action claims brought by restaurants seeking damages for lost profits and harm to business reputation
  • Serving as national coordinating counsel for Schwan's in defending tens of thousands of claims associated with one of the first and largest Salmonella outbreaks
  • Serving as national counsel for a cereal manufacturer facing two separate nationwide Salmonella recalls, including one involving numerous class actions and "opt out" cases nationwide, ultimately negotiating a class settlement that resolved all litigation
  • Significant experience representing food industry clients in numerous foodborne illness cases involving pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella (numerous serotypes), Listeria monocytogenes , campylobacter , B. cereus , Hepatitis A, C. difficile and norovirus
  • One of the firms serving as Preferred Counsel for the Grocery Manufacturers Association

Contact

Sarah L. Brew, Minneapolis
+1 612 766 7470


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