May 17, 2012 / 5:54 PM / in 6 years

Appeals court revives POM lawsuit versus Coca-Cola

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An appeals court on Thursday revived part of a lawsuit against Coca-Cola Co in which POM Wonderful LLC accused Coke of falsely advertising its “Pomegranate Blueberry” juice product.

POM sued Coca-Cola in 2008 saying it had misled consumers into believing the drink, under the Minute Maid brand, consisted primarily of pomegranate and blueberry juices, according to the ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

POM claimed the drink contained mainly apple and grape juices.

A lower court resolved the case in Coca-Cola’s favor before trial. But on Thursday, the 9th Circuit found that POM may have standing to pursue some state law claims against Coca-Cola, and it returned the case to U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for further proceedings.

Coca-Cola spokeswoman Susan Stribling said the company was confident the lower court would dismiss “what little is left” of POM’s claims. A POM representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

The 9th Circuit upheld the lower court’s judgment in favor of Coca-Cola on other federal law claims.

The case in the 9th Circuit is POM Wonderful LLC v. The Coca-Cola Company, No. 10-55861.

Reporting By Dan Levine; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick

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