Paul Hastings Secures Putative Class Action Victory for Nissin

April 05, 2023

Paul Hastings LLP secured full dismissal in a putative class action lawsuit filed against client, Nissin Food Products Co., Ltd. The lawsuit alleged that several of Nissin’s ramen noodle products violated 44 states’ consumer protection laws. The plaintiff filed a suit alleging that the labeling on its packaging contains the phrase “NO ADDED MSG,” misleading consumers since the products do contain naturally occurring free glutamates. The plaintiff was seeking to certify a class constituting all persons who purchased one of these products in one of the 44 states. Nissin moved to dismiss the complaint for failing to allege that reasonable consumers would be misled, given the clear disclaimer on the labels note that the products contain naturally occurring glutamates. The plaintiff also brought a claim for violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, but the plaintiff dismissed this count in response to the filing of Nissin’s motion to dismiss.

This litigation concerned one of the largest consumer protection class actions, spanning 44 states with potentially millions of class members. Additionally, the plaintiff rested their case on decades-old FDA guidance concerning MSG. A ruling in their favor would have had significant implications on how food products are marketed and sold if even one ingredient contains free glutamates. Products containing ingredients as common as cheese and tomatoes could have also been subject to litigation if the products make any assertion about a lack of MSG, regardless of the presence of disclaimers on the packaging.

Charles Patrizia and Kurt Hansson led the Paul Hastings team, which also included associates James Ferguson and Hanna Ali.

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