We previously posted about the case Paz v. AG Adriano Goldschmied, in which the Southern District of California denied a motion to dismiss a complaint alleging violations of California’s “Made in the USA” standard. In denying the motion, the court held that California’s stricter standard (i.e., all components of a product, even a screw, must be made “entirely or substantially” in the United States) was not preempted by more lenient standards set forth by the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act.
Attempting to counter the ruling, defendants filed a request for interlocutory review, seeking appellate review on the question of whether or not the federal laws preempted California’s standard. Although interlocutory appeals (i.e., appeals before final judgment is rendered in a case), are permitted in “exceptional situations,” Judge Sabraw found that this was not one of those situations.
While noting that two out of the three requirements for an interlocutory appeal were met, the court found that defendants did not demonstrate that there was “substantial ground for difference of opinion because the preemption issue is one of first impression and one on which reasonable jurists might disagree.” Judge Sabraw held that, while the preemption question was indeed one of first impression, any finding that reasonable jurists could disagree would be “pure speculation.” Simply disagreeing with the court’s interpretation was not enough to overcome this hurdle.
At least for now, there will be no word from the higher court on the question of preemption, although it is likely the issue will be make it up the chain at some point in the not-too-distant future.