The first Quaker Maple case was Eisenlord v. The Quaker Oats Company, et al, filed in California on March 1, 2016. On March 11, 2016, Attorney Thomas A. Zimmerman filed a copycat case in Illinois with cereal plaintiff Mario Aliano (pun intended). Note how similar the Aliano v. Quaker Complaint is to the Eisenlord v. Quaker Complaint. As Charles Caleb Colton famously remarked, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
The subsequent filing of two more Quaker Oats Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal class actions in multiple jurisdictions led to MDL No. 2718 – In Re: Quaker Oats Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal Marketing And Sales Practices Litigation.
Plaintiff Eisenlord’s Response to Motion for Coordination or Consolidation and Transfer Pursuant to 28.U.S.C. § 1407 is a must-read for anyone interested in the nature of copycat class action suits.
On June 2, 2016, the Chair of the Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, Judge Sarah S. Vance, issued orders denying transfer and consolidation of the copycat Quaker Maple actions. See Order Denying Transfer.
On June 16, 2016 yet another copycat case – Kevin Phung v. Quaker – was filed! The Kevin Phung case, filed 2½ months after the initial Quaker case, seeks to represent a class of California consumers. The Kevin Phung class action complaint lists no less than 11 lawyers from 6 law firms (Erich Schork, Walter Haines, Patrick Heegan, David Markham, Peggy Reali, Aron Robinson, Timothy Blood, Anthony Parkhill, Jeffrey Blake, Erich Schork, and Ben Barnow). One is reminded of scenes from the Nature Channel depicting a pack of hungry, scavenging jackals gathering around a carcass to feed.
On June 20, 2016, Quaker responded by filing a Motion to Transfer or Stay, pointing out that “Aliano and his counsel have filed at least 17 class actions together, incluing a number of follow-on and copycat actions…”