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This case was last updated from PACER on 06/06/2021 at 07:05:24 (UTC).

Smith v. Plum. PBC et al

Case Summary

On April 07, 2021, Lauren Smith (“Plaintiff”), on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, represented by Keith Allyn Robinson of Keith A. Robinson, Attorney at Law, filed a class action lawsuit against Plum Organics, Campbell Soup Company, Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, Gerber Products Company, Nurture & Ors. (collectively, “Defendants”), seeking judgment, punitive and treble damages with injunctive relief, and both pre- and post – judgment interest for selling, marketing, advertising, distributing, and manufacturing baby food products containing dangerous levels of heavy metals. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California with Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers presiding. 

The Plaintiff brings this action individually and on behalf of all persons in the United States who, from January 1, 2019, to the present, purchased foods for babies, toddlers or children manufactured by Defendants for household or business use, and not for resale (the “RICO Class”).and state class pursuant to Rules 23(a) and 23(b)(2) and (3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

In her complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that, “The baby food fraud alleged in this case occurred in multiple stages. Executives at these companies devised a scheme to defraud in which baby food would be represented as something different than what it was, which made the food their companies produced and manufactured not safe for consumption. Then, once their food fraud was exposed to the public, Defendants also engaged in additional fraudulent acts to cover up, conceal, and continue their ongoing schemes to defraud. On February 4, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform released the explosive report, “Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury.” (hereinafter “the House Staff Report” or “Congressional Report”)”.

The Plaintiff further alleged that, “The House Staff Report highlighted the high levels of toxic heavy metals present in numerous baby foods produced by Defendants, namely Defendant Beech-Nut, Defendant Nurture. The baby food at issue, examined in the House Staff Report, showed levels as high as 91 times as much arsenic, 177 times as much lead, 69 times as much cadmium, and 5 times as much mercury than levels allowed in bottled water. All of these toxins are harmful to the babies and children who ingested them. Exposure to these heavy metals can result in Permanent decreases in IQ, Increased risk of future criminal and antisocial behaviour in children, Affected neurological development and brain function in infants and Other unknown and harmful effects to children”.

There are multiple claims for relief laid down by the plaintiff. A few of them are in furtherance of alleged violations of The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Civil RICO) under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) and (d), alleged breach of express warranty, alleged breach of implied warranty, alleged negligent testing and inspection, alleged negligent misrepresentation, alleged violations of Kansas Consumer Protection Act Kan. Stat. Ann. § 50-623, et seq. and alleged unjust enrichment.

In her prayer for relief, the Plaintiff has requested the court to award punitive damages against Defendants, jointly and severally, in an amount to be determined by the jury for Defendants violations of federal and state law; award Plaintiff damages and treble damages under the RICO Act; grant Plaintiff injunctive relief that requires Manufacturer Defendants to test and inspect final baby food prior to sale; establish prejudgment and post-judgment interest; award Plaintiff their actual expenses of litigation, including reasonable attorney’s fees; appoint Plaintiff as class representative; and such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    4:21-CV-02519

  • Filing Date:

    04/07/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act

  • Court:

    U.S. District Courts

  • Courthouse:

    California Northern District

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Lauren Smith

Defendants

Campbell Soup Company

Plum. PBC

Gerber Products Company

Beech-Nut Nutrition Company

Safeway Inc.

Nurture, Inc. doing business as HAPPYFAMILY ORGANICS

Plum, Inc. doing business as Plum Organics

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Keith Allyn Robinson

Attorney at Keith A. Robinson, Attorney at Law

2945 Townsgate Road, Suite 200

Westkake Village, CA 91361

Ruth Anne French-Hodson

Attorney at Sharp Law, LLP

4820 W. 75Th St

Prairie Village, KS 66208

Defendant Attorneys

Amanda L. Groves

Attorney at Winston & Strawn LLP

101 California Street

San Francisco, CA 94111-5840

Gregory Andrew Ellis

Attorney at Winston & Strawn LLP

333 South Grand Avenue, 38Th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90071-1543

 

Court Documents

#28

(#28) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed filed by Lauren Smith. Service waived by Campbell Soup Company waiver sent on 5/27/2021, answer due 7/26/2021. (French-Hodson, Ruth Anne) (Filed on 6/4/2021) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

#27

(#27) NOTICE of Change of Address by Ruth Anne French-Hodson (French-Hodson, Ruth Anne) (Filed on 6/2/2021) (Entered: 06/02/2021)

#26

(#26) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed filed by Lauren Smith. Service waived by Nurture, Inc. waiver sent on 5/27/2021, answer due 7/26/2021. (French-Hodson, Ruth Anne) (Filed on 6/2/2021) (Entered: 06/02/2021)

#25

(#25) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed filed by Lauren Smith. Service waived by Gerber Products Company waiver sent on 5/27/2021, answer due 7/26/2021; Safeway Inc. waiver sent on 5/27/2021, answer due 7/26/2021. (French-Hodson, Ruth Anne) (Filed on 5/28/2021) (Entered: 05/28/2021)

#24

(#24) NOTICE of Withdrawal of Proofs of Service by Lauren Smith. (French-Hodson, Ruth Anne) (Filed on 5/28/2021) Modified on 6/1/2021 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 05/28/2021)

#23

(#23) Amended NOTICE of Appearance by Gregory Andrew Ellis. (Ellis, Gregory) (Filed on 5/21/2021) Modified on 5/24/2021 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 05/21/2021)

#22

(#22) Amended NOTICE of Appearance by Amanda L. Groves. (Groves, Amanda) (Filed on 5/21/2021) Modified on 5/24/2021 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 05/21/2021)

#21

(#21) NOTICE of Appearance by Gregory Andrew Ellis for Safeway Inc. (Ellis, Gregory) (Filed on 5/20/2021) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

#19

No Description Available

#15

No Description Available

#14

No Description Available

#13

No Description Available

#9

(#9) NOTICE OF RELATED CASE PURSUANT TO CIVIL L.R. 3-12; STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER ON DESIGNATION OF RELATED CASES PURSUANT TO CIVIL L.R. 7-11 filed by Lauren Smith. (Robinson, Keith) (Filed on 4/15/2021) Modified on 4/16/2021 (bnsS, COURT STAFF). Modified on 4/16/2021 (bnsS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 04/15/2021)

#7

(#7) ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. Case reassigned using a proportionate, random, and blind system pursuant to General Order No. 44 to Judge Haywood S Gilliam, Jr for all further proceedings. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley no longer assigned to case,. Signed by The Clerk on 4/14/21. (haS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/14/2021) (Entered: 04/14/2021)

#4

(#4) Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 7/1/2021. Initial Case Management Conference set for 7/8/2021 01:30 PM in San Francisco, Courtroom E, 15th Floor. (msrS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/8/2021) (Entered: 04/08/2021)

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet

#1

(#1) COMPLAINT Class Action against Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, Campbell Soup Company, Gerber Products Company, Nurture, Inc., Plum, Inc., Plum. PBC, Safeway Inc. ( Filing fee $ 402, receipt number 0971-15808577.). Filed byLauren Smith. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Robinson, Keith) (Filed on 4/7/2021) (Entered: 04/07/2021)

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Docket Entries

  • 06/04/2021
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  • Docket(#29) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed filed by Lauren Smith. Service waived by Plum. PBC waiver sent on 5/27/2021, answer due 7/26/2021. (French-Hodson, Ruth Anne) (Filed on 6/4/2021) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

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  • 06/04/2021
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  • Docket(#28) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed filed by Lauren Smith. Service waived by Campbell Soup Company waiver sent on 5/27/2021, answer due 7/26/2021. (French-Hodson, Ruth Anne) (Filed on 6/4/2021) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

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  • 06/02/2021
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  • Docket(#27) NOTICE of Change of Address by Ruth Anne French-Hodson (French-Hodson, Ruth Anne) (Filed on 6/2/2021) (Entered: 06/02/2021)

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  • 06/02/2021
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  • Docket(#26) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed filed by Lauren Smith. Service waived by Nurture, Inc. waiver sent on 5/27/2021, answer due 7/26/2021. (French-Hodson, Ruth Anne) (Filed on 6/2/2021) (Entered: 06/02/2021)

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  • 05/28/2021
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  • Docket(#25) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed filed by Lauren Smith. Service waived by Gerber Products Company waiver sent on 5/27/2021, answer due 7/26/2021; Safeway Inc. waiver sent on 5/27/2021, answer due 7/26/2021. (French-Hodson, Ruth Anne) (Filed on 5/28/2021) (Entered: 05/28/2021)

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  • 05/28/2021
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  • Docket(#24) NOTICE of Withdrawal of Proofs of Service by Lauren Smith. (French-Hodson, Ruth Anne) (Filed on 5/28/2021) Modified on 6/1/2021 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 05/28/2021)

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  • 05/21/2021
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  • Docket(#23) Amended NOTICE of Appearance by Gregory Andrew Ellis. (Ellis, Gregory) (Filed on 5/21/2021) Modified on 5/24/2021 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 05/21/2021)

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  • 05/21/2021
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  • Docket(#22) Amended NOTICE of Appearance by Amanda L. Groves. (Groves, Amanda) (Filed on 5/21/2021) Modified on 5/24/2021 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 05/21/2021)

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  • 05/21/2021
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  • Docket#Electronic filing error. Attorneys must update ECF contact information. [err102] Re: #21 Notice of Appearance filed by Safeway Inc., #20 Notice of Appearance filed by Safew ay Inc. (cjlS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/21/2021) (Entered: 05/21/2021)

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  • 05/20/2021
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  • Docket(#21) NOTICE of Appearance by Gregory Andrew Ellis for Safeway Inc. (Ellis, Gregory) (Filed on 5/20/2021) (Entered: 05/20/2021)

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11 More Docket Entries
  • 04/20/2021
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  • Docket(#10) ORDER RELATING CASES 4:21-cv-0913-YGR and 4:21-cv-2519-HSG. Signed by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on 4/20/2021. (fs, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/20/2021) (Entered: 04/20/2021)

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  • 04/15/2021
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  • Docket(#9) NOTICE OF RELATED CASE PURSUANT TO CIVIL L.R. 3-12; STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER ON DESIGNATION OF RELATED CASES PURSUANT TO CIVIL L.R. 7-11 filed by Lauren Smith. (Robinson, Keith) (Filed on 4/15/2021) Modified on 4/16/2021 (bnsS, COURT STAFF). Modified on 4/16/2021 (bnsS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 04/15/2021)

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  • 04/15/2021
  • Docket(#8) CLERK'S NOTICE SETTING CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE FOR REASSIGNED CIVIL CASE. Notice is hereby given that a Case Management Conference has been set for July 13, 2021, before Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr., at 2:00 p.m. Case Management Statement due by July 6th. Standing orders can be downloaded from the court's web page at www.cand.uscourts.gov/judges. All future filings should reflect the case number as 4:21-cv-02519-HSG. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (ndrS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/15/2021) (Entered: 04/15/2021)

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  • 04/14/2021
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  • Docket(#7) ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. Case reassigned using a proportionate, random, and blind system pursuant to General Order No. 44 to Judge Haywood S Gilliam, Jr for all further proceedings. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley no longer assigned to case,. Signed by The Clerk on 4/14/21. (haS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/14/2021) (Entered: 04/14/2021)

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  • 04/13/2021
  • Docket(#6) CLERK'S NOTICE OF IMPENDING REASSIGNMENT TO A U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Clerk of this Court will now randomly reassign this case to a District Judge because either (1) a party has not consented to the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge, or (2) time is of the essence in deciding a pending judicial action for which the necessary consents to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction have not been secured. You will be informed by separate notice of the district judge to whom this case is reassigned. ALL HEARING DATES PRESENTLY SCHEDULED BEFORE THE CURRENT MAGISTRATE JUDGE ARE VACATED AND SHOULD BE RE-NOTICED FOR HEARING BEFORE THE JUDGE TO WHOM THIS CASE IS REASSIGNED. This is a text only docket entry; there is no document associated with this notice. (ahm, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/13/2021) (Entered: 04/13/2021)

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  • 04/13/2021
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  • Docket(#5) CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Lauren Smith.. (Robinson, Keith) (Filed on 4/13/2021) (Entered: 04/13/2021)

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  • 04/08/2021
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  • Docket(#4) Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 7/1/2021. Initial Case Management Conference set for 7/8/2021 01:30 PM in San Francisco, Courtroom E, 15th Floor. (msrS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/8/2021) (Entered: 04/08/2021)

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  • 04/08/2021
  • Docket(#3) Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley. Counsel for plaintiff or the removing party is responsible for serving the Complaint or Notice of Removal, Summons and the assigned judge's standing orders and all other new case documents upon the opposing parties. For information, visit E-Filing A New Civil Case at http://cand.uscourts.gov/ecf/caseopening.Standing orders can be downloaded from the court's web page at www.cand.uscourts.gov/judges. Upon receipt, the summons will be issued and returned electronically. Counsel is required to send chambers a copy of the initiating documents pursuant to L.R. 5-1(e)(7). A scheduling order will be sent by Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) within two business days. Consent/Declination due by 4/22/2021. (mbcS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/8/2021) (Entered: 04/08/2021)

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  • 04/08/2021
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  • Docket(#2) MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice for Ruth Anne French-Hodson ( Filing fee $ 317, receipt number 0971-15810736.) filed by Lauren Smith. (French-Hodson, Ruth Anne) (Filed on 4/8/2021) (Entered: 04/08/2021)

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  • 04/07/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT Class Action against Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, Campbell Soup Company, Gerber Products Company, Nurture, Inc., Plum, Inc., Plum. PBC, Safeway Inc. ( Filing fee $ 402, receipt number 0971-15808577.). Filed byLauren Smith. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Robinson, Keith) (Filed on 4/7/2021) (Entered: 04/07/2021)

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