A consumer brought suit against Bacardi based on a 150-year-old law on Florida’s books regarding some compounds and ingredients that, prior to decent Federal regulation and at a time when little was known about such compounds, declared different substances, including grains of paradise, adulterants and banned their use in liquor.
The lawsuit sought a class certification and damages claiming because the statute declared the liquor adulterated, the alcohol was therefore worthless. Bacardi moved to dismiss arguing against the claims, in relevant part, stating that because Federal law allowed grains of paradise as part of the FDA’s general recognized as safe (GRAS) ingredients the Florida law was preempted.
The District Court agreed with Bacardi. The plaintiff appealed. The opinion will hopefully have some interesting and applicable federal preemption decisions that could help federally licensed state manufacturers of beer wine and spirits in dealing with conflicting state laws.
Here is the oral argument audio:
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