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Brenton v. Metabolife International, Inc.

California Court of Appeal
10 Cal. Rptr. 3d 702 (2004)


Facts

Ashleigh Brenton (plaintiff) purchased and consumed Metabolife 356, a product manufactured and marketed by Metabolife International, Inc. (Metabolife) (defendant). Brenton suffered a psychotic breakdown that she claimed was caused by Metabolife’s product. Brenton sued Metabolife, alleging claims for product liability, negligence, and violations of Business and Professions Code §§ 17200 & 17500 for false advertising and product misbranding. Metabolife moved to strike the complaint under the anti-SLAPP statute. The anti-SLAPP statute protects Californians from unfounded, strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs). Metabolife asserted that Brenton’s claims were based on Metabolife’s exercise of protected, commercial speech, making Brenton’s lawsuit an attempt to improperly chill Metabolife’s First Amendment right to engage in this commercial speech. The trial court denied the motion to strike. Metabolife appealed to the California Court of Appeal.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (McDonald, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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