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In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

The newest lawsuits du jour are class-action suits against food companies, according to an article in Corporate Counsel. Recently, lawsuits have been filed against General Mills, Nature Valley and Heinz.

A general counsel interviewed for the story recommended working ahead to avoid such lawsuits. Kristen Polovoy, a class-action defense lawyer in the New Jersey office of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, recommended very closely examining labels on food products, avoiding words that falsely advertise health benefits like “natural” and “pure” and making sure none of the wording is misleading.

“In-house counsel need to be educated and stay educated on this issue, and work closely with marketing and ad departments before the first drop of ink hits the first product label,” Polovoy told Corporate Counsel. “If you don’t do your homework in advance, you will probably regret it at great cost in the future.”

So, here’s our question for you:

As a general counsel, what would you recommend an in-house counsel at a food company do to avoid a lawsuit?

Leave a comment below or email me.

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