In an opinion yesterday, Judge Román denied a motion to dismiss a class action accusing the makers of “Earth’s Best” branded foods of falsely labeling certain products as “organic.”  The defendants argued the claims were preempted by the Organic Food Production Act (or, OFPA), which defines what foods can be labeled “organic,” and prohibits the sale of products labeled “organic” unless approved by a “certifying agent.” In an earlier case, the Eighth Circuit found similar claims preempted because (among other reasons) state law claims challenging “organic” labels would create the risk of “conflicting interpretations” and would “directly conflict[] with the role of the certifying agent.” Judge Román disagreed, finding that the risk of “divergent” views not enough to result in preemption:
Continue Reading Judge Román, Disagreeing With Eighth Circuit, Rules Suit Over “Organic” Label Not Preempted

In an opinion Monday, Judge Román denied Westchester County’s motion to dismiss a suit by the federal government alleging that Westchester’s Water District No. 1, which serves Mount Vernon, Scarsdale, White Plains and Yonkers, is in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act because it fails to treat water for a certain parasite, Cryptosporidium. Westchester argued that District No. 1 is not covered by the relevant regulations because it serves customers only indirectly, through municipalities. Judge Román disagreed:
Continue Reading Judge Román Allows Federal Government to Sue Westchester to Comply With Drinking Water Standards