Dykema Gossett PLLC

Food & Beverage Law Blog

Food & Beverage Law Blog

Watch for Litigation Concerning Website Accessibility to the Disabled to Rise

As has been reported in the news recently, there is increasing litigation asserting that the websites of some retailers and other commercial enterprises are not accessible to consumers with disabilities. For the reasons discussed below, we expect to see increasing demands on the owners of restaurant websites and the consumer-facing websites of food and beverage manufacturers. The Americans with Disabilities Act  was adopted before widespread adoption of the internet, but the Department of Justice and many courts have taken the position that the ADA’s prohibition of discrimination against anyone on the basis of disability in the use of “accommodations of any place of public accommodation” applies to websites as well as physical establishments. Read More ›

Pom Wonderful, et. al v. Federal Trade Commission: Petition to Supreme Court for Writ of Certiorari Related to Advertising and Labeling

This case could have broad implications for how the FTC evaluates labeling claims related to the health benefits of products. Pom Wonderful, et. al v. Federal Trade Commission, Petition for Writ of Certiorari, No. 15-525, October 23, 2015. Pom Wonderful asks the Supreme Court to address whether a finding by the FTC that truthful advertisements imply a misleading message to a minority of consumers, and therefore should receive no First Amendment protection, must be reviewed de novo? In other words, Pom wants the Court to address the difficult question of how far can the agencies go when regulating the labeling speech when they choose to ban it as “implying” a misleading message in the absence of evidence of how the general public, or even the scientific community, will evaluate such speech. Pom argues that the First Amendment requires courts to play a more meaningful role in evaluating a decision to ban particular truthful speech to customers on the paternalistic assumption that they will be misled by some lurking implication hiding behind the labeling message. Read More ›