This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 10/19/2022 at 08:48:32 (UTC).

White v. The Kroger Co. et al

Case Summary

On October 12, 2021, Phillip White (“Plaintiff”), individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, represented by Benjamin Heikali of Treehouse Law, LLP; Brittany S. Scott and Neal J. Deckant of Bursor & Fisher, P.A.; Danielle L. Manning of Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP; and Katherine A. Bruce, Ryan J. Clarkson, Shireen M. Clarkson, and Kelsey Elling of Clarkson Law Firm, P.C., filed a class action lawsuit against The Kroger Company (“Kroger”) and Fruit Of The Earth, Inc. (“FOTE”) (collectively, “Defendants”), represented by Jacob M. Harper and James H. Ju Moon of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, seeking restitution, and injunctive and declaratory relief for the alleged personal property fraud by Defendants. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, with Judge Richard Seeborg presiding. 

Plaintiff brings this action as a class action pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2) and 23(b)(3) on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, and as members of the Classes.

In the complaint, Plaintiff claimed, “Reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Reefs protect coastlines from storms and erosion, provide jobs for local communities, and offer opportunities for recreation. Over half a billion people depend on reefs for food, income, and protection. Reef-safe personal care products, in particular sun care products such as sunscreens and sun blocks, are rapidly increasing in popularity due to their perceived positive ecological impact.”

Plaintiff asserted, “Avobenzone, homoslate, octisalate, and octrocrylene (collectively, ‘Harmful Ingredients’) are chemicals that can harm reefs, including coral reefs and the marine life that inhabits and depends on them. The HEL—Octrocrylene. The Haerecticus Environmental Laboratory (‘HEL’) is a non-profit organization that specializes in research and advocacy in a number of areas including sunscreens and how their ingredients impact natural environmental habitats.”

Plaintiff alleged, “Consequently, because of the ecological concerns about sun care products (such as sunscreens and sun blocks), consumers have increasingly sought out products that are reef-safe and otherwise cannot harm reefs, including coral reefs and the marine life that inhabits and depends on them. As a result, sales have surged in recent years for consumer personal care and sun care products advertised with ‘reef safe’, ‘reef friendly’, ‘reef conscious’, and similar claims.”

Plaintiff also alleged, “Defendant falsely and misleadingly labels the Products with the Challenged Representation. The Challenged Representation is conspicuous. It is prominently placed on each Product’s primary display panel of the front label or packaging. The front primary display panel contains scant imagery and information about the Products, largely limited to the brand name, identity of the product (e.g., sunscreen), and one or a few claims about the Products’ attributes (e.g., size).”

Additionally, Plaintiff alleged, “In spite of the Products labeling, they contain Harmful Ingredients, including avobenzone, homoslate, octisalate and octorylene, which are chemicals that harm reefs, including coral reefs and the marine life that inhabits them. The Challenged Representation was and is material to reasonable consumers, including Plaintiff, in making the decision to purchase the Products.”

Plaintiff presented five claims for relief, including claims for the alleged violation of California Unfair Competition Law, California False Advertising Law, the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment/restitution. 

In the prayer for relief, Plaintiff requested a judgment granting restitution, and declaratory and injunctive relief. Plaintiff also requested disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, punitive damages, and pre- and post-judgment interest. 

This is a summary of a legal complaint. All statements, claims, and allegations listed herein reflect the position of the plaintiff only and do not represent the position of UniCourt. Additionally, this case summary may not reflect the current position of the parties to this litigation or the current status of this case. To view the latest case updates and court documents, please sign up for a UniCourt account.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    3:21-CV-08004

  • Filing Date:

    10/12/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Personal Property Fraud

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Richard Seeborg

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Phillip White

Defendants

The Kroger Co.

Fruit of the Earth, Inc.

Not Classified By Court

Strivectin Operating Company, Inc.

Bondi Sands (USA) Inc.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Katherine Anne Bruce

Attorney at Clarkson Law Firm, P.C.

22525 Pacific Coast Highway

Malibu, CA 90265

Benjamin Heikali

Attorney at Treehouse Law, LLP

10250 Constellation Blvd, Ste 100

Los Angeles, CA 90067

Brittany Skye Scott

Attorney at Bursor & Fisher, P.A.

1990 North California Boulevard, Suite 940

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Danielle Leigh Manning

Attorney at Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP

1901 Avenue Of The Stars, Suite 1060

Los Angeles, CA 90067

Kelsey Elling

Attorney at Clarkson Law Firm, P.C.

22525 Pacific Coast Highway

Malibu, CA 90265

Neal J. Deckant

Attorney at Bursor & Fisher, P.A.

1990 North California Boulevard, Suite 940

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Ryan J. Clarkson

Attorney at Clarkson Law Firm, P.C.

22525 Pacific Coast Highway

Malibu, CA 90265

Shireen M. Clarkson

Attorney at Clarkson Law Firm, P.C.

22525 Pacific Coast Highway

Malibu, CA 90265

Defendant Attorneys

Jacob Michael Harper

Attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

865 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 2400

Los Angeles, CA 90017

James Hyeoun Ju Moon

Attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

865 S. Figueroa St., Ste 2400

Los Angeles, CA 90017

Peter Bae

Attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

865 South Figueroa Street, Suite 2400

Los Angeles, CA 90017

Ricky Lynn Shackelford

Attorney at Greenberg Traurig, LLP

1840 Century Park East, Suite 1900

Los Angeles, CA 90067

Gaganjyot Sandhu

Attorney at Greenberg Traurig, P.A

1840 Century Park East, Suite 1900

Los Angeles, CA 90067

Hannah B. Shanks-Parkin

Attorney at Greenberg Traurig, P.A

1840 Century Park East, Suite 1900

Los Angeles, CA 90067

 

Court Documents

#74

(#74) NOTICE of Appearance by Danielle Leigh Manning (Manning, Danielle) (Filed on 10/13/2022) (Entered: 10/13/2022)

#73

(#73) NOTICE of Change In Counsel by Robert Espensen Kohn [Robert E. Kohn, Esq. ceasing to be involved with the case] (Kohn, Robert) (Filed on 9/30/2022) (Entered: 09/30/2022)

#72

(#72) NOTICE of Appearance by Robert Espensen Kohn (Kohn, Robert) (Filed on 8/24/2022) (Entered: 08/24/2022)

#71

(#71) NOTICE of Change of Address by Benjamin Heikali (Heikali, Benjamin) (Filed on 6/24/2022) (Entered: 06/24/2022)

#70

(#70) ORDER by Judge Richard Seeborg Granting #68 Stipulated Protective Order. (cl, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/14/2022) (Entered: 06/14/2022)

#68

(#68) STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER Protective Order filed by Phillip White. (Bruce, Katherine) (Filed on 6/8/2022) (Entered: 06/08/2022)

52 #2

Proposed Order Granting Defendant Fruit of the Earth's Motion for Summary J

52 #1

Declaration Declaration of Chris Spencer ISO Defendant Fruit of the Earth's

52 #52

Main Document

#7

(#7) SUMMONS Returned Executed by Phillip White. The Kroger Co. served on 10/14/2021, answer due 11/4/2021. (Bruce, Katherine) (Filed on 10/22/2021) (Entered: 10/22/2021)

#6

(#6) Summons Issued as to The Kroger Co.. (dhmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/13/2021) (Entered: 10/13/2021)

#5

(#5) Summons Issued as to Fruit of the Earth, Inc.. (dhmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/13/2021) (Entered: 10/13/2021)

#4

(#4) Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 1/7/2022. Initial Case Management Conference set for 1/14/2022 02:00 PM in San Francisco, Courtroom F, 15th Floor. (dhmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/12/2021) (Entered: 10/13/2021)

2 #1

Proposed Summons as to Defendant The Kroger Co.

#2

1 #2

Civil Cover Sheet

1 #1

Exhibit 1

#1

90 More Documents Available
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Docket Entries

  • 10/13/2022
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  • Docket(#74) NOTICE of Appearance by Danielle Leigh Manning (Manning, Danielle) (Filed on 10/13/2022) (Entered: 10/13/2022)

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  • 09/30/2022
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  • Docket(#73) NOTICE of Change In Counsel by Robert Espensen Kohn [Robert E. Kohn, Esq. ceasing to be involved with the case] (Kohn, Robert) (Filed on 9/30/2022) (Entered: 09/30/2022)

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  • 08/24/2022
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  • Docket(#72) NOTICE of Appearance by Robert Espensen Kohn (Kohn, Robert) (Filed on 8/24/2022) (Entered: 08/24/2022)

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  • 06/24/2022
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  • Docket(#71) NOTICE of Change of Address by Benjamin Heikali (Heikali, Benjamin) (Filed on 6/24/2022) (Entered: 06/24/2022)

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  • 06/14/2022
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  • Docket(#70) ORDER by Judge Richard Seeborg Granting #68 Stipulated Protective Order. (cl, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/14/2022) (Entered: 06/14/2022)

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  • 06/10/2022
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  • Docket(#69) ORDER by Judge Seeborg granting #52 Motion for Summary Judgment as to defendant Fruit of the Earth, Inc.. (rslc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/10/2022) (Entered: 06/10/2022)

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  • 06/08/2022
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  • Docket(#68) STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER Protective Order filed by Phillip White. (Bruce, Katherine) (Filed on 6/8/2022) (Entered: 06/08/2022)

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  • 05/31/2022
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  • Docket(#67) REPLY (re #52 MOTION for Summary Judgment ) filed byFruit of the Earth, Inc.. (Shackelford, Ricky) (Filed on 5/31/2022) (Entered: 05/31/2022)

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  • 05/24/2022
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  • Docket(#66) OPPOSITION/RESPONSE (re #52 MOTION for Summary Judgment ) filed byPhillip White. (Attachments: #1 Declaration of Katherine Bruce, #2 Exhibit A, #3 Exhibit B, #4 Exhibit C, #5 Exhibit D, #6 Exhibit E, #7 Exhibit F, #8 Exhibit G)(Bruce, Katherine) (Filed on 5/24/2022) (Entered: 05/24/2022)

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  • 05/17/2022
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  • Docket(#65) Answer to Amended Complaint #63 Amended Complaint Defendant, Fruit of the Earth, Inc.'s Answer to Second Amended Complaint byFruit of the Earth, Inc.. (Shackelford, Ricky) (Filed on 5/17/2022) (Entered: 05/17/2022)

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59 More Docket Entries
  • 11/05/2021
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  • Docket(#10) STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT; EXTEND DEADLINES TO RESPOND TO THE COMPLAINT; AND CONTINUE THE INITIAL CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE filed by Phillip White. (Bruce, Katherine) (Filed on 11/5/2021) (Entered: 11/05/2021)

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  • 11/05/2021
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  • Docket(#9) SUMMONS Returned Executed by Phillip White. Fruit of the Earth, Inc. served on 10/15/2021, answer due 11/5/2021. (Bruce, Katherine) (Filed on 11/5/2021) (Entered: 11/05/2021)

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  • 10/26/2021
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  • Docket(#8) CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Phillip White.. (Bruce, Katherine) (Filed on 10/26/2021) (Entered: 10/26/2021)

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  • 10/22/2021
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  • Docket(#7) SUMMONS Returned Executed by Phillip White. The Kroger Co. served on 10/14/2021, answer due 11/4/2021. (Bruce, Katherine) (Filed on 10/22/2021) (Entered: 10/22/2021)

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  • 10/13/2021
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  • Docket(#6) Summons Issued as to The Kroger Co.. (dhmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/13/2021) (Entered: 10/13/2021)

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  • 10/13/2021
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  • Docket(#5) Summons Issued as to Fruit of the Earth, Inc.. (dhmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/13/2021) (Entered: 10/13/2021)

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  • 10/12/2021
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  • Docket(#4) Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 1/7/2022. Initial Case Management Conference set for 1/14/2022 02:00 PM in San Francisco, Courtroom F, 15th Floor. (dhmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/12/2021) (Entered: 10/13/2021)

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  • 10/12/2021
  • Docket(#3) Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero. 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 10/26/2021. (bwS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/12/2021) (Entered: 10/13/2021)

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  • 10/12/2021
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  • Docket(#2) Proposed Summons. (Attachments: #1 Proposed Summons as to Defendant The Kroger Co.)(Bruce, Katherine) (Filed on 10/12/2021) (Entered: 10/12/2021)

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  • 10/12/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against Fruit of the Earth, Inc., The Kroger Co. ( Filing fee $ 402, receipt number 0971-16490500.). Filed byPhillip White. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit 1, #2 Civil Cover Sheet)(Bruce, Katherine) (Filed on 10/12/2021) (Entered: 10/12/2021)

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