Glad to see a meritless case dismissed prior to the discovery phase.
In this case, a lawsuit claiming that Tyson’s use of “Prime Pork” constituted false advertising.
Senior United States District Judge Paul Huck of the Southern District of Florida quickly dismissed this case with prejudice.
The court dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint in its entirety, finding it “implausible” that a reasonable consumer who was familiar enough with the USDA grading process for beef to “simultaneously be ignorant of the fact that the USDA does not grade pork.” This was especially true given that the term “USDA” did not appear anywhere on the pork’s packaging. As the court held, a “reasonable consumer sufficiently familiar with USDA grading would note the absence of the term.” With this in mind, the court found the use of the word “prime” to be non-actionable puffery and dismissed the complaint with prejudice.
Considering that this Judge was previously a member of the Civil Trial Bar, I am very pleasantly surprised and pleased with his quickly deep sixing this case.
As the article goes on to state, false advertising claims are generally very difficult and expensive to defend and if the Judge had let this case proceed to discovery, the defendant (Tyson) would have had to make a difficult decision about whether to spend the money on defense or just settle and let the Plaintiffs have their little shakedown (which is what this lawsuit was essentially all about, trying to shakedown a corporation for free money).
Glad to see the Judge stopped this in its tracks.