Evan Weiner et al. v. Snapple Beverage Corporation
Senior Advisor Keith R. Ugone and an Analysis Group team including Principal Na L. Dawson and Vice President Minh P. Doan were retained by counsel for Snapple Beverage Corporation ("Snapple") in a putative class action case involving allegations that Snapple misled consumers and caused them economic injury by marketing certain Snapple beverages as "All Natural" when they contained high-fructose corn syrup. The team examined pricing-related documents and Nielsen retail sales data associated with Snapple's "All Natural" beverages and concluded that injury to putative class members resulting from alleged mislabeling could not be determined by common proof. As the case team demonstrated, wide variations existed in Snapple beverages' retail prices across distribution outlets, across geographic areas, across promotional activities, and across the time periods considered. Also, a comparison of the average retail prices of Snapple's "All Natural" beverages to identified benchmark products did not provide economic evidence that Snapple's "All Natural" beverages possessed a systematic price premium as a result of the "All Natural" labeling. The Analysis Group case team evaluated plaintiffs' economics expert's opinions and concluded that the expert failed to demonstrate that the claimed injury to putative class members could be reliably or accurately evaluated using classwide proof. A judge in the Southern District of New York denied plaintiffs' class certification motion and granted Snapple's motion to exclude plaintiffs' economic expert's opinion. The judge's opinion was referenced in American Lawyer, Law.com, and the National Law Journal.