Consumer class action lawsuits targeting foods for alleged false and misleading labeling rose sharply in 2020. Although this trend may appear to threaten the food and beverage industry, courts are applying the “reasonable consumer” standard with a “real world” perspective, dismissing cases despite plaintiffs’ alleged subjective confusion about the labeling at issue because the hypothetical “reasonable consumer” would not have been misled.
On January 19, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published its final debt collection rules in the Federal Register, including 12 C.F.R. § 1006.26(b), which prohibits collections of time-barred debt. Under the new rules, collectors who sue or threaten to sue consumers for time-barred or “zombie” debts ‒ debts for which the statute of limitations already expired ‒ violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Despite a company’s claim that it deals only in legal hemp products, in January, a federal court denied the company’s access to relief under the Bankruptcy Code. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Joseph Rosania, Jr., of the District of Colorado, dismissed United Cannabis Corporation’s (UCANN) Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, a move that could cause concerns for cannabis companies that may be seeking bankruptcy relief, particularly in the midst of a global pandemic.