California Section 17200 Claim
In Bronco Wine Co., a grape grower sued under section 17200 to challenge certain practices of a bulk winemaker, which allegedly led to underpayments for the grower's grapes.
The conduct of which the grower complained included "wrongfully rejecting and refusing to accept grapes, adopting arbitrary quality standards, applying quality standards unreasonably in order to pay less for accepted grapes than the price to which the winemaker had agreed, and threatening to sue and suing growers who complained of the winemaker's conduct." ( Bronco Wine Co. v. Frank A. Logoluso Farms, supra, 214 Cal. App. 3d at p. 715).
The winemaker sought to strike claims on behalf of nonparty growers or, alternatively, class certification, arguing that other grape growers should be included as parties. the court denied both requests. ( Id. at pp. 715-716).
At trial, only one nonparty grower appeared as a witness. That grower testified he had no objection to the amount he received for his crop. ( Bronco Wine Co. v. Frank A. Logoluso Farms, supra, 214 Cal. App. 3d at p. 716).
The court ultimately awarded restitution not only to the grower who sued but as well to nonparty growers who had not released the winemaker from liability. ( Id. at p. 717).