LOS ANGELES, March 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Prominent trial attorney Mark Lanier will be leading the federal court activity in the nationally recognized federal court false advertising suit brought by the Sugar Association against Archer Daniels Midland and their codefendants who manufacture high fructose corn syrup. Lanier – founder of the Lanier Law Firm –recently was named 2015 Trial Lawyer of the Year by The National Trial Lawyers and The Trial Lawyer magazine during the Trial Lawyers Summit in Miami. The award recognizes a civil plaintiffs' lawyer whose work has made a significant impact in the law, in addition to the honoree's noteworthy achievements, verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients.
The Lanier Law Firm is a leading national advocate in cases involving dangerous consumer products, catastrophic vehicle and worksite injuries, and high-stakes business disputes. Lanier, who is deeply familiar with the federal court suit, says that he is looking forward to pursuing this case all the way to trial in Los Angeles. Previously Lanier worked for the Sugar Association and representing thousands of sugar farmers from across the nation in a deceptive advertising case by makers of artificial sweeteners Splenda.
"We have uncovered evidence in the course of our investigation into the false advertising by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) and others, demonstrating that the defendants engaged in false advertising and attempted to confuse the public by attempting to steal the good name of sugar," said Lanier.
The underlying lawsuit, Western Sugar Cooperative v. Archer-Daniels-Midland, Co., was filed in April 2011 by a group of sugar farmers to stop the corn processors' advertising. In May 2012, the FDA rejected a petition by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) – the corn processors' captive trade association – to change the common name for HFCS to "corn sugar." The FDA noted that "the use of the term 'sugar' to describe HFCS, a product that is a syrup, would not accurately identify or describe the basic nature of the food or its characterizing properties." The FDA also said the name change could "pose a public health concern" to persons with fructose intolerance or malabsorption.
U.S. District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall, who is presiding over the lawsuit, has also ruled on an earlier motion that the plaintiff sugar farmers have presented evidence demonstrating "a reasonable probability of success on their argument that the statements (made by the corn processors) are false."