Davis Polk Represents Charoen Pokphand Foods in Winning Dismissal of Landmark Consumer Class Action

Davis Polk represents the largest company in Thailand, Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL, and its U.S. subsidiary, C.P. Food Products, Inc. (“CP Foods”), in an unfair competition lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  The suit was brought by an alleged class of California consumers.  In the first lawsuit of its kind, plaintiffs claimed that CP Foods and co-defendant Costco violated a variety of state consumer protection statutes by selling products without disclosing alleged labor problems in their foreign supply chains.  The plaintiffs’ theory of the case focused on media reports about labor abuses by suppliers unrelated to CP Foods, suppliers who were not themselves named as defendants in the complaint.

Davis Polk moved to dismiss the complaint on a number of grounds, including that the plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue their claims.  On January 24, 2017, Judge Jeffrey S. White granted CP Foods’ motion to dismiss.  Judge White agreed with Davis Polk that the plaintiffs lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution, and dismissed all claims with prejudice.

The Davis Polk team includes partners Christopher B. Hockett and Neal A. Potischman, associates Andrew Yaphe and Brooke Pyo.  All members of the Davis Polk team are based in the Northern California office.