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Order Delacruz v Cytosport Motion to Dismiss

Order Delacruz v Cytosport Motion to Dismiss

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Published by Lara Pearson

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Published by: Lara Pearson on Apr 15, 2012
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10/15/2013

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIACLAIRE DELACRUZ, individually,and on behalf of other members ofthe general public similarlysituated,Plaintiff,v.CYTOSPORT, INC., a CaliforniaCorporation,Defendant. ________________________________/No. C 11-3532 CWORDER GRANTING INPART AND DENYINGIN PARTCYTOSPORT’S MOTIONTO DISMISSPLAINTIFF’S FIRSTAMENDED COMPLAINT(Docket No. 14)Plaintiff Claire Delacruz alleges a putative consumer classaction based on certain representations made regarding DefendantCytosport’s products, “Muscle Milk® Ready-To-Drink” (RTD) and“Muscle Milk® Bars.” Plaintiff alleges claims under theCalifornia Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), the UnfairCompetition Law (UCL), and the False Advertising Law (FAL), aswell as common law claims for fraud, negligent misrepresentationand unjust enrichment. Defendant moves to dismiss Plaintiff’sFirst Amended Complaint (1AC) under Federal Rules of CivilProcedure 8(a), 9(b), 12(b)(1), and 12(b)(6).Having considered all of the parties’ submissions and oralargument, the Court grants in part Defendant’s motion to dismissand denies it in part. Docket No. 14.
Case4:11-cv-03532-CW Document34 Filed04/11/12 Page1 of 27
 
 
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BACKGROUNDPlaintiff’s 1AC alleges the following. Defendantmanufactures and markets Muscle Milk® products, including the RTDand the bars. The 1AC refers to both as the Products. Plaintiffclaims,In connection with its marketing of the Products, aspart of an extensive and long-term advertisingcampaign, including communications through productpackaging, television, print, outdoor, and othermedia, Cytosport makes representations and omissionsthat are intended to mislead consumers to believe thatthe Products are healthy, and nutritious, and shouldbe regularly consumed to help them diet and live ahealthy lifestyle.Contrary to Defendant’s representations and omissions,however, with almost 50% of their caloric contentcoming from fats, the Products are equivalent to fat-laden junk food. Defendant tells consumers “there’sno question you’re getting a nutritious snack,” andthat the Products “take[] the guess work out of highperformance nutrition,” yet a standard-size containerof Cytosport’s “Muscle Milk® Ready-To-Drink (RTD)”contains the same number of calories and almost asmuch total fat and saturated fat as a “Glazed KremeFilling” Krispy Kreme® doughnut, and more fat andsaturated fat than other varieties of Krispy Kreme®doughnuts. Similarly, Cytosport’s 73 gram “MuscleMilk® Bars” contain more calories, more saturated fat,and the same amount of total fat as a roughly equal-sized 72 gram “Chocolate Iced Glazed” Krispy Kreme®doughnut.Defendant expressly represents that the Products are“premium,” “healthy,” “nutritional” products thatshould be consumed as part of a “healthy lifestyle,”before workouts, after workouts, and as a “mealreplacement” to provide “healthy sustained energy.”1AC at ¶¶ 2-4.The 1AC includes photographs of two RTD containers, aseventeen ounce RTD and a fourteen ounce RTD, as well as other
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advertisements for the drink. The fourteen ounce containerstates,MUSCLE MILK IS AN IDEAL BLENDOF PROTEIN, HEALTHY FATS,GOOD CARBOHYDRATESAND 20 VITAMINS AND MINERALSTO PROVIDE SUSTAINED ENERGY,SPUR LEAN MUSCLE GROWTH AND HELP PROVIDE RECOVERYFROM TOUGH DAYSAND TOUGHER WORKOUTS.1AC at ¶ 17.Plaintiff alleges that “healthy fats” and “goodcarbohydrates” are false and misleading terms. 1AC at ¶ 18.The misrepresentations on the container are compounded bymisrepresentations on the product website, Plaintiff claims. Thewebsite states, “No matter if you are a performance athlete,exercise enthusiast, or just trying to live a healthy lifestyle,Muscle Milk is an ideal [product] for your nutritional needs.”1AC at ¶ 19. In addition, the website claims that the RTD is a“functional beverage that promotes recovery from exercise, leanmuscle growth, and healthy, sustained energy.” 1AC at 19. Thewebsite also states, “Ready-to-Drink is an ideal nutritionalchoice [if] you are . . . on a diet.” 1AC at 19. The 1ACincludes an image from the website.Defendant also conducted a transit media campaign for theRTD. The advertisements appeared on buses, on top of taxis and intrains, stating, “Go from cover it up to take it off,” “Frominvisible to OMG!” and “From frumpy to fabulous.” 1AC at ¶ 22.
Case4:11-cv-03532-CW Document34 Filed04/11/12 Page3 of 27

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