Ninth Circuit Reverses District Court Ruling in Starbucks Doubleshot Case

Joshua Nassir Joshua Nassir

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On December 20, 2019, the United State Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an order reversing the District Court’s decision granting Starbucks’ motion to dismiss in Naimi v. Starbucks Corporation, et al., Case No. 2:17-cv-06484-VAP-GJS. Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP represents the plaintiffs in this matter.  

The plaintiffs’ complaint challenges Starbucks’ Doubleshot Espresso product and alleges that, contrary to the product’s name and label, the product does not contain two shots of Starbucks brand espresso. In support of their allegations, the plaintiffs had introduced a nationwide consumer survey which demonstrated that over 89% of respondents believe that the product contains two shots of Starbucks espresso. To demonstrate that the product lacked two shots of Starbucks espresso, the plaintiffs further alleged that independent laboratory testing and statistical analyses confirmed that the product contains a significantly lesser amount of caffeine when compared to two shots of espresso in Starbucks’ stores.

Despite these allegations, the District Court dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint, holding that a reasonable consumer could not plausibly be deceived by the product’s name or label. The Ninth Circuit reversed the District Court, holding that plaintiffs’ allegations, including those of the consumer survey and laboratory analysis, plausibly demonstrate that a reasonable consumer could believe that the product contains two shots of Starbucks espresso. The Ninth Circuit’s decision can be found here.

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