Judge certifies injunctive class action in AriZona Beverages “All Natural” class action

December 13, 2012 by

A federal court has agreed to certify a class of California consumers alleg­edly misled by representations that AriZona Iced Tea® is “Natural” because it contains the processed, man-made ingredients high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and citric acid. Ries v. Arizona Beverages USA LLC, No. 10-01139 RS (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Cal., San Francisco Div., order entered November 27, 2012). But the court granted the certification motion “for the purpose of injunctive and declaratory relief only” thus foreclosing the recovery of “monetary damages, including restitution, refund, reimbursement and disgorgement.”

The named plaintiffs had sought certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2), which “does not authorize class certification when each class member would be entitled to an individualized award of monetary damages.” According to the court, the claim for monetary relief predominates the complaint, and the plaintiffs “seek individualized awards of monetary restitution which would require individualized assessments of damages based on how many products the class member had bought,” making the damages calculations “unmanageable under Rule 23(b)(2).”

Steve Larson
An experienced trial lawyer who handles both hourly and contingent fee cases, Steve has expertise in class actions, consumer cases, antitrust litigation, securities litigation, corporate disputes, intellectual property disputes, unfair competition claims, employment matters, and disputes involving family wealth. Steve regularly represents individuals and businesses in federal and state court and has obtained class-wide recovery in multiple class actions. A veteran practitioner, Steve's clients value his creative approach to resolving complex litigation matters.

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