Hohenberg v. Ferrero USA, Inc

Filing 8

MOTION to Consolidate Cases by Athena Hohenberg. (Attachments: # 1 Memo of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion, # 2 Declaration of Ronald A. Marron, # 3 Declaration of Gregory S. Weston, # 4 Declaration of Jack Fitzgerald, # 5 Proof of Service)(Marron, Ronald) (ag). Added MOTION to Appoint Counsel on 3/1/2011 (ag).

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Hohenberg v. Ferrero USA, Inc Doc. 8 Att. 3 1 THE WESTON FIRM GREGORY S. WESTON (239944) 2 JACK FITZGERALD (257370) 3 888 Turquoise Street San Diego, CA 92109 858 488 1672 4 Telephone: Facsimile: 480 247 4553 5 greg@westonfirm.com jack@westonfirm.com 6 7 Counsel for Plaintiff Laura Rude-Barbato and the Proposed Class 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Defendant. 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 Hohenberg v. Ferrero U.S.A., Inc., Case No. 3:11-cv-00205 H CAB DECLARATION OF GREGORY S. WESTON IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE AND APPOINT INTERIM CLASS COUNSEL Dockets.Justia.com ATHENA HOHENBERG, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. FERRERO U.S.A., INC., Case No. 3:11-cv-00205 H CAB Pleading Type: Class Action DECLARATION OF GREGORY S. WESTON IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE AND APPOINT INTERIM CLASS COUNSEL Judge: The Hon. Marilyn L. Huff Date: March 28, 2011 LAURA RUDE-BARBATO, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. / Case No. 3:11-cv-00249 DMS (BLM) Pleading Type: Class Action Judge: The Hon. Dana M. Sabraw FERRERO U.S.A., INC., Defendant. 1 I, Gregory S. Weston, declare: 2 1. I am a member in good standing of the State Bars of California and Florida, and 3 the United States District Courts for the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California. I 4 have personal knowledge of the facts stated herein, and, if called on to do so, could and would 5 testify competently thereto. I make this Declaration in support of Plaintiffs' Motion to 6 Consolidate and Appoint Interim Class Counsel. 7 2. I am a graduate of Ohio State University and Harvard Law School and have 8 always devoted all or substantially all of my practice to representing plaintiffs in class actions. 9 3. Before founding the Weston Firm, as an attorney at the firm now called Robbins, 10 Geller, Rudman & Dowd ("RGR&D"), I represented plaintiffs in the following actions: 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 4. The Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation, No. 05-cv-37 (N.D. Cal.) (nationwide consumer class certified and RGR&D appointed class counsel) Bruce v. Crompton Corp. (Los Angeles Co. Sup. Ct.) (Rubber chemicals antitrust action) In re Carbon Black Antitrust Litigation, M.D.L. No. 1543 (D. Mass.) In re Digital Music Antitrust Litigation, M.D.L. No. 1780 (S.D.N.Y.) (RGR&D appointed interim class counsel) In re Graphics Processing Units Antitrust Litigation, M.D.L. No. 1826 (N.D. Cal.) In re International Air Transportation Surcharge Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Cal.) In re Medical Waste Services Antitrust Litigation, M.D.L. No. 1546 (D. Utah) (RGR&D appointed interim class counsel) Ross et al. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, No. 07-cv-521 (W.D. Pa.) Williams v. Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club No. GIC836845 (San Diego Co. Sup. Ct.) (California consumer class certified, RGR&D appointed class counsel) This year my firm has obtained a number of favorable decisions in similar class 24 actions brought under California's Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, and 25 Consumer Legal Remedies Act, against food manufacturers for false, misleading or deceptive 26 labeling. 27 28 29 30 1 Hohenberg v. Ferrero U.S.A., Inc., Case No. 3:11-cv-00205 H CAB DECLARATION OF GREGORY S. WESTON IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE AND APPOINT INTERIM CLASS COUNSEL 1 5. In Yumul v. Smart Balance, Inc. 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86394 (C.D. Cal, July 30, 2 2010) and Yumul v. Smart Balance, Inc. 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116960 (C.D. Cal. October 8, 3 2010), the Honorable Margaret M. Morrow denied a motion to dismiss a complaint challenging 4 the labeling of margarine containing trans fat, holding that plaintiff had adequately alleged 5 deception. The Court further denied the defendant's challenge to a class period extending back 6 ten years, holding the complaint adequately alleged tolling of the statute under the delayed 7 discovery rule. Similarly, in Red et al. v. Kraft Foods, Inc., et al., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122849 8 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 18, 2010), the Honorable George Wu found a significant number of challenges 9 to health claims on packaged foods, such as Ritz Crackers and Teddy Grahams, were actionable. 10 In Chacanaca v. The Quaker Oats Co., No. C 10-0502 RS, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111981 (N.D. 11 Cal. Oct. 14, 2010), the Honorable Richard Seeborg also found certain health claims on Quaker 12 Oats granola bar products actionable under California's UCL, FAL and CLRA. The Weston 13 Firm also represents Plaintiffs in a putative class action styled Red et al. v. Unilever United 14 States et al., No. CV 10-0387 JW (N.D. Cal.), which challenges labels on Unilever margarine 15 products. The parties in Unilever will be jointly presenting a motion for preliminary approval of 16 a class-wide settlement this week. 17 6. In addition to these suits, the Weston Firm represents Plaintiffs in several other 18 actions challenging the labeling of food, including Henderson et al. v. Gruma Corp., No. CV 1019 4173 AHM (C.D. Cal.) and Henderson v. The J.M. Smucker Co., No. CV 10-4524 GHK (C.D. 20 Cal.). 21 7. In sum, the Weston Firm has dedicated substantial resources and efforts to 22 prosecuting claims similar to those in this case. This provides the Weston Firm with the benefits 23 of expertise in the subject area, and economies of scale that will benefit the proposed class here. 24 8. Additionally, the court appointed the Weston Firm sole Class Counsel to represent 25 purchasers of approximately 145 condominiums in Adachi et al. v. Garlyle/Galaxy San Pedro 26 L.P. et al., No. 09-793 (C.D. Cal.), which settled in 2009 on a class-wide, all-cash basis for 27 approximately $1.35 million. 28 29 30 2 Hohenberg v. Ferrero U.S.A., Inc., Case No. 3:11-cv-00205 H CAB DECLARATION OF GREGORY S. WESTON IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE AND APPOINT INTERIM CLASS COUNSEL 1 9. The court also appointed the Weston Firm, together with Lieff Cabraser in San 2 Francisco, Interim Class Counsel for a putative class of purchases of the Apple iPad 3G, who 3 were damaged by a "bait-and-switch" relating to 3G data service for the iPad, in the matter of 4 Weisblatt et al. v. Apple, Inc. et al. (In re Apple and AT&T iPad Unlimited Data Plan Litig.), No. 5 10 CV 02553 RMW (N.D. Cal.). 6 10. The Weston Firm is fully committed to prosecuting this action against Ferrero 7 U.S.A., Inc. to achieve a successful outcome for the Proposed Class. 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 DATED: February 28, 2011 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 3 Hohenberg v. Ferrero U.S.A., Inc., Case No. 3:11-cv-00205 H CAB DECLARATION OF GREGORY S. WESTON IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE AND APPOINT INTERIM CLASS COUNSEL Counsel for Plaintiff Laura Rude-Barbato and the Proposed Class Respectfully Submitted, /s/Gregory S. Weston Gregory S. Weston THE WESTON FIRM GREGORY S. WESTON JACK FITZGERALD 888 Turquoise Street San Diego, CA 92109 Telephone: 858 488 1672 Facsimile: 480 247 4553 Executed on February 23, 2011 in San Diego, California /s/ Gregory S. Weston Gregory S. Weston I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

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