Silverman Analyzes Increase in "Shake the Box" Lawsuits for Law360

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Partner Cary Silverman explains in an April 17, 2017, Law360 article that a six-fold growth in slack-fill lawsuits stems from a "precise template" developed by plaintiffs' lawyers seeking to pressure companies into out-of-court settlements.  “I call them ‘shake the box’ lawsuits,” reports Silverman. “If you can hear the product shake, you’ve got a lawsuit. You just plug it into your template, take a photo, and you’re ready to go.”

In particular, the article notes that such lawsuits -- which rarely make it past class certification -- are often filed in California due to the state's unique slack-fill laws. It also quotes from a U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform report authored by Silverman and Shook Partner Jim Muehlberger on "food court" litigation: “A consumer can always read the number of ounces printed on the packaging to know the exact amount of product contained inside. However, none of these legitimate explanations have deterred some in the plaintiffs bar from this new product packaging and labeling class action du jour.”