On October 6, 2014, a Minnesota state court dismissed with prejudice a putative nationwide class action brought against firm client, ConAgra Foods, Inc.  This is the third victory for the Blackwell Burke defense team (following published decisions in federal court and the Eighth Circuit) in litigation in which the plaintiffs alleged that ConAgra’s Hebrew National brand beef products were not “100% kosher as advertised.”

The Dakota County Court agreed with Blackwell Burke’s arguments that the First Amendment barred the plaintiffs’ claims and that the plaintiffs also lacked constitutional and statutory standing.

The case, initially filed in 2012, was first dismissed with a Minnesota federal district court, after the court agreed with Blackwell Burke’s argument that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. See Wallace v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., 920 F. Supp. 2d 995 (D. Minn. 2013).  On appeal, the Eighth Circuit declined to address the First Amendment issue, but agreed with Blackwell Burke’s separate argument that the plaintiffs also lacked Article III standing to pursue their claims. Wallace v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., 747 F.3d 1025 (8th Cir. 2014). Without Article III standing, the case was remanded to state court.  

The Blackwell Burke defense team included partner Corey L. Gordon, who successfully argued ConAgra’s motion to dismiss, and associate Emily A. Ambrose, primary author of the state court briefs, as well as firm chairman Jerry W. Blackwell and partner Benjamin W. Hulse.

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.