Ruling Allows Gerber False Advertising to Crawl Onward
Alexander Kaplan, Jennifer Yang and James Unger
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
On July 14, 2015, U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt of the Central District of California held in Zakaria v. Gerber Products Co. that plaintiff’s putative class action against Gerber over the advertising of baby food could proceed despite the Fourth Circuit’s recent Brown v. GNC Corp., decision, signaling the muscling in of a stricter new pleading standard for false advertising class actions nationwide.
Judge Kronstadt allowed the Zakaria case to proceed, holding that, at least in California, plaintiffs do not have to reach this new high pleading bar. Judge Kronstadt also noted that the Fourth Circuit’s ruling was not binding authority in the Ninth Circuit and found it unpersuasive for three primary reasons.