Labeling Suit Over 7-Eleven Potato Chips Reinstated

The Product Safety & Liability Reporter™ provides updates on significant developments and issues in product safety and liability litigation and regulation, plus analysis from top litigators. Get...

By Julie A. Steinberg

June 8 — A would-be class suit alleging the packaging of 7-Eleven potato chips makes the chips seem more healthful than other brands is reinstated by the Ninth Circuit ( Bishop v. 7-Eleven, Inc., 9th Cir., No. 12-02621, unpublished 6/7/16 ).

Scott Bishop sufficiently alleged he relied on “0g trans fat” and “no cholesterol” statements, and wouldn't have bought the chips if the bag had included a required disclosure that directed consumers to information elsewhere on the package about total fat, the court said June 7.

Bishop contended he relied on the label, believing the 7-Eleven snacks were nutritionally better than other potato chips, whose packaging lacked such statements.

Bishop argued that the labels were misleading without the disclosure. It was required under federal food labeling regulations because of the total amount of fat in the chips, he said.

In an unpublished order, the Ninth Circuit said the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California erred by dismissing Bishop's second amended complaint (42 PSLR 428, 4/28/14).

California's consumer protection statutes render statements that have a tendency to mislead consumers because they fail to direct a consumer's attention to other important information actionable, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said.

Bishop was represented by Pratt & Associates and Don Barrett, P.A.

7-Eleven was represented by Venable LLP and Arnold & Porter LLP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie A. Steinberg in Washington at jsteinberg@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at spatrick@bna.com and Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bna.com