Blackwell Burke P.A. Wins Dismissal of Hebrew National Putative Nationwide Class Action

Blackwell Burke P.A. obtained a complete defense victory on behalf of firm client ConAgra Foods, Inc. in federal district court in Minnesota. The dismissal with prejudice comes in a putative nationwide class action where consumers alleged that ConAgra’s Hebrew National brand beef products were not “100% kosher” as advertised.

In deciding that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, the Court concluded: “The definition of the word ‘kosher’ is intrinsically religious in nature, and this Court may not entertain a lawsuit that will require it to evaluate the veracity of Defendant’s representations that its Hebrew National products meet any such religious standard.”

Blackwell Burke partner Corey L. Gordon argued the First Amendment issue. Partners Jerry W. Blackwell and Benjamin W. Hulse along with associate Emily A. Babcock rounded out the defense team.

Blackwell Burke P.A., a litigation and trial boutique in Minneapolis, Minnesota, serves as national trial and litigation counsel for numerous Fortune 500 companies. The firm has extensive experience in class action defense, commercial litigation, food industry defense, labor and employment, and products liability. The firm has represented corporate clients in practically every jurisdiction in the country, as well as several foreign countries.

For more information about this litigation or Blackwell Burke P.A., please contact Kandy Branch at 612.343.3235.

More information about the case is from these news outlets:

• The American Jewish World, “Federal court hearing turns Talmudic

• The Economist, “A meaty question

• Law360, “ConAgra Escapes Suit Over Hebrew National Kosher Claims

• Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, “ConAgra kosher hot dog lawsuit is tossed out

• Reuters, “Suit claiming Hebrew Nat’l hot dogs not kosher dismissed