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Johnsonville LLC Wins Dismissal With Prejudice of False Advertising Class Action

United States - Illinois

Johnsonville LLC (Johnsonville) won dismissal with prejudice of a false advertising class action challenging its famous bratwurst products. In Edwards v. Johnsonville, plaintiff alleged that Johnsonville's brats were misleadingly advertised as being “100% premium pork." The Faegre Drinker team moved to dismiss the claims as preempted because the product labels were U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois agreed and dismissed plaintiff's complaint with prejudice and in its entirety. Notably, the court rejected plaintiff's argument that USDA preemption did not apply because the product labels were approved through USDA's generic approval process, as opposed to USDA's sketch approval process. This is a significant decision given USDA's increasing use of the generic approval process.

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