Justia Animal / Dog Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Class Action
Cisneros v. Petland, Inc.
After plaintiff bought a puppy from Petland and the puppy died a week later, plaintiff filed suit under the civil provisions contained in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), alleging that the puppy's death was the result of a nationwide racketeering conspiracy. Plaintiff alleged that defendants are involved in a conspiracy to sell sick puppies for premium prices and engaged in a campaign of obfuscation after the sale to aid Petland in avoiding its warranties.The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's RICO complaint for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The court held that the complaint failed to plead facts that plausibly support the inference that defendants shared a common purpose to commit the massive fraud she alleges. Furthermore, plaintiff has failed to allege with particularity that each defendant engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity. The court also held that plaintiff adequately alleged in her complaint that the Class Action Fairness Act vested the district court with original jurisdiction over her Georgia RICO claim. Therefore, the court vacated the portion of the district court's order declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction and remanded with instructions to dismiss plaintiff's state-law RICO claim with prejudice. View "Cisneros v. Petland, Inc." on Justia Law
Wullschleger v. Royal Canin U.S.A., Inc.
Plaintiffs filed a putative class action alleging that defendants deceived plaintiffs into believing their products were approved by the FDA. After the district court remanded the case back to state court, the Eighth Circuit granted defendants' petition for review under 28 U.S.C. 1453(c)(1), limiting review to the issue of federal question jurisdiction.The court held that federal question jurisdiction exists in this case, because plaintiffs rely explicitly on federal law throughout their pleadings and their prayer for relief invokes federal jurisdiction where it seeks injunctive and declaratory relief that necessarily requires the interpretation and application of federal law, including the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. Therefore, based on the allegations in the complaint and relief sought, the court found that a federal issue surrounding the state law claims is necessarily raised, actually disputed, substantial, and capable of resolution in federal court without disrupting the federal-state balance approved by Congress. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded for further proceedings. View "Wullschleger v. Royal Canin U.S.A., Inc." on Justia Law
Simms v. Bayer Healthcare, LLC
The flea-and-tick “spot-on products” at issue claim that their active ingredient works by topical application to a pet’s skin rather than through the pet’s bloodstream. According to the manufacturers, after the product is applied to one area, it disperses over the rest of the pet’s body within one day because it collects in the oil glands and natural oils spread the product over the surface of the pet’s skin and “wick” the product over the hair. The plaintiffs alleged false advertising based on statements that the products are self-dispersing and cover the entire surface of the pet’s body when applied in a single spot; that they are effective for one month and require monthly applications to continue to work; that they do not enter the bloodstream; and that they are waterproof and effective after shampooing, swimming, and exposure to rain or sunlight. The district court repeatedly referred to a one-issue case: whether the product covers the pet’s entire body with a single application. The case management order stated that the manufacturers would bear the initial burden to produce studies that substantiated their claims; the plaintiffs would then have to refute the studies, “or these cases will be dismissed.” The manufacturers objected. The plaintiffs argued that the plan would save time, effort, and money. The manufacturers submitted studies. The plaintiffs’ response included information provided by one plaintiff and his adolescent son and an independent examination of whether translocation occurred that detected the product’s active ingredient in a dog’s bloodstream. The district court concluded that the manufacturers’ studies substantiated their claims and denied all of plaintiffs’ discovery requests, except a request for consumer complaints, then granted the manufacturers summary judgment. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. The doctrines of waiver and invited error precluded challenges to the case management plan. View "Simms v. Bayer Healthcare, LLC" on Justia Law