Agrifund, LLC v. Radar Ridge Planting Co., 52,432 (La. App. 2 Cir. 7/17/19) This case arises from agricultural loans that were not repaid. The lender, Agrifund, LLC (“Agrifund”), appeals from a trial court judgment granting exceptions of no cause of action as to its claims against eight of the numerous defendants in this case, and the dismissal of those defendants with prejudice. The Court affirmed in part and reverse in part. They found that the plaintiff has alleged a cause of action in conversion against the three banks named as defendants. The Court found that the plaintiff has not alleged any other causes of action against any of the defendants who filed the exceptions that are before the court. The matter was remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.
FRONTIER AG, INC., Plaintiff, v. NUSEED AMERICAS INC., Defendant., No. 18-2352-DDC-TJJ, 2019 WL 3219334 (D. Kan. July 17, 2019)
Before the court is defendant Nuseed Americas Inc.’s (“Nuseed”) “Partial Motion to Dismiss”. This case involves several tort and warranty claims following the alleged failure of sunflower seeds to germinate at the expected rate. Nuseed contends Counts I, II, III, and V of plaintiff Frontier AG, Inc.’s (“Frontier”) Amended Complaint are precluded by the Kansas Product Liability Act (“KPLA”) and by Kansas’s economic loss doctrine. Nuseed further contends that the implied warranty component of Frontier’s warranty claim in Count IV is barred because there was no privity between Frontier and Nuseed. In response, Frontier asserts that the Federal Seed Act preempts the KPLA. And, Frontier argues Kansas’s economic loss doctrine does not apply here because the sunflower seeds’ failure to germinate resulted in damage to the fields where farmers had sowed the seeds. Frontier also disputes the proposition that it must demonstrate privity with Nuseed to make an implied warranty claim against Nuseed. The court concludes that: (1) the Federal Seed Act does not preempt the KPLA; and (2) Frontier, as a corporate entity who did not plant the sunflower seeds, must allege privity with Nuseed to advance an implied warranty claim. The court thus grants Nuseed’s Partial Motion to Dismiss.
IN RE: WHOLE FOODS MARKET GROUP, INC. OVERCHARGING LITIGATION, No. 15 CIV. 5838 (PAE), 2019 WL 3219690 (S.D.N.Y. July 17, 2019)
On June 24, 2015, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (the “DCA”) issued a press release stating that, based on its investigation, Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. (“Whole Foods”), by assigning exaggerated weights to pre-packaged foods priced by individual weight, frequently overcharged consumers for these products. Soon after, plaintiff Sean John (“John”), a customer of certain Whole Foods stores in Manhattan, brought a putative class action against Whole Foods based on his having purchased allegedly short-weighted pre-packaged cupcakes and cheeses during 2014 and 2015. John did not claim ever to have weighed any cupcake or cheese that he had bought, to have direct evidence of any kind that any product he had bought had been short-weight, or even to have retained records of his purchases. His claim to have been personally overcharged was instead based on extrapolating from the DCA investigation.
Discovery, fact and expert, is now complete on John’s individual claims. Whole Foods seeks summary judgment on these claims. Whole Foods argues that the undisputed facts would not permit a jury to find, other than by speculation, that John himself was ever overcharged by Whole Foods for any pre-packaged food item. This failure, Whole Foods argues, entitles it now to prevail, either on the merits or because the same facts demonstrate that John has failed to establish an injury-in-fact, as necessary for Article III standing. John counters that a jury could find injury to him by extrapolating from what he contends is proof of a uniform Whole Foods practice of falsely inflating the weights, and therefore the price, of its pre-packaged foods. John argues that a jury could find that Whole Foods used “[u]niform, [s]ystematic [p]ractices” to prepare and price cupcakes and cheeses and, considering these unitary practices alongside the DCA’s findings of short-weighted products, could infer that at least some items John bought in 2014 and 2015 must also have been short-weight.
For the following reasons, the Court finds that the evidence adduced could not support a verdict in John’s favor. Although John’s testimony can establish that he purchased cupcakes and cheeses from two Whole Foods stores, there is no competent, non-speculative, evidence that any cupcake or cheese item John bought weighed less than the weight used to price it. The DCA investigation, in the form of spot checks at certain stores, does not support the inference of systematic over-pricing. And John in discovery did not adduce competent evidence of a uniform practice by Whole Foods of falsely inflating the weight of its pre-packaged goods in general, or of cupcakes and cheese in particular.
Although John’s failure to prove his own injury would support either dismissal for lack of Article III standing or entry of summary judgment for Whole Foods on the merits of his claims, the Court dismisses this case for lack of standing because standing is jurisdictional.
TENNESSEE FARMERS COOPERATIVE, ET AL. v. TED D. RAINS, No. M201801097COAR3CV, 2019 WL 3229686 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 18, 2019)
Defendant in a debt collection case appeals the entry of judgment against him, contending that the court erred in setting the case for trial with only two days’ notice, in granting a motion in limine on the day of trial, and in its award of attorney’s fees to the Plaintiff. The Court modified the judgment to reduce the amount of attorney’s fees awarded; in all other respects, they affirm the judgment.