Dowd Bennett Secures Dismissal with Prejudice for Client

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California recently granted Dowd Bennett’s motion to dismiss with prejudice a putative class action seeking to represent all California residents who bought Beck’s Non-Alcoholic malt beverages over the last four years. See Angiano v. Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide, Inc., CV 21-01879 PA (PVCx) (C.D. Cal. Apr. 5, 2021). The plaintiffs had pled that use of the term “non-alcoholic” caused them to believe the product had no alcohol whatsoever, even though the front and back labels contained a federal alcohol content statement disclosing that the product “contains less than 0.5 percent alcohol by volume.” The court held that under the “safe harbor doctrine,” the federal approval of the labels “prevents Plaintiffs from bringing claims under [California’s False Advertising Law, Unfair Competition Law, or Consumer Legal Remedies Act] as a matter of law.” The court also dismissed the implied warranty claim for lack of privity, holding that California’s “exception to vertical privity based on written labels … does not apply to breach of implied warranty claims.”

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Dowd Bennett is a litigation firm with extensive courtroom experience. Led by trial-seasoned lawyers, including former federal prosecutors and judicial law clerks, our team shares tenacity, a passion for seeing cases through trial and a complete commitment to client service.