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Cases & Deals

May 2, 2024

King & Spalding Secures Precedential Decision Affirming Summary Judgment for KIND

King & Spalding secured a victory for snack maker KIND LLC when the Second Circuit issued a precedential decision affirming summary judgment in favor of KIND in a MDL false advertising consumer class action. The Second Circuit found that the plaintiffs failed to come forward with evidence of what “All Natural” means to the reasonable consumer and whether, based on that meaning, the reasonable consumer would be deceived by use of that statement on the label of KIND products.

The Second Circuit also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding plaintiffs’ expert reports on those issues. As for what “All Natural” means to the reasonable consumer, the Second Circuit found that the plaintiffs’ consumer survey expert’s methodology was flawed because his questions were biased and leading. Plaintiffs’ other evidence concerning the meaning of natural – plaintiffs’ testimony, FDA’s opinion, dictionary definitions, and KIND’s internal documents – was also insufficient. All of “that purported evidence fails to present any cohesive definition of what a reasonable consumer would expect from products labeled ‘All Natural.’” Without a cohesive definition of “All Natural,” the Second Circuit found that plaintiffs’ claims do not survive KIND’s summary judgment motion.