Becerra v. Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., No. 18-16721 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's third amended complaint alleging that defendant violated various California consumer-fraud laws by branding Diet Dr Pepper using the word "diet."
The panel held that, taken all together, the allegations in the complaint failed to sufficiently allege that reasonable consumers read the word "diet" in a soft drink's brand name to promise weight loss, healthy weight management, or other health benefits. The panel stated that diet soft drinks are common in the marketplace and the prevalent understanding of the term in that context is that the "diet" version of a soft drink has fewer calories than its "regular" counterpart. The panel explained that just because some consumers may unreasonably interpret the term differently does not render the use of "diet" in a soda's brand name false or deceptive. Therefore, the panel held that plaintiff failed to sufficiently allege that Diet Dr. Pepper's labeling was false or misleading and the district court properly dismissed the claim.