How Did That Taster’s Choice Case Turn Out?

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I mentioned Christoff v. Nestlé the other day—you know, the case where the guy was surprised to see his face on the Taster's Choice coffee label and ended up getting $15 million for it—and someone wrote me to ask how that case ultimately turned out. A good question, which I will now semi-answer.

After the California Supreme Court reversed the $15 million judgment and remanded to the Court of Appeals (you can refresh your memory here), that court sent it back to the trial court for further proceedings. The trial court’s docket shows that the plaintiff dismissed the case with prejudice on May 26, 2010. Very little happened between the remand and the dismissal.

This almost certainly means the case settled, although I can't find any report of a settlement, let alone how much it might have been worth. (Settlements are usually confidential anyway.) But the plaintiff dismissed the case, not the court, and under the circumstances there would have been no reason for the plaintiff to do that for free. There was some chance that Christoff's claim would be barred by limitations, but that wasn't a given, and Nestlé would certainly not have forgotten the $15 million jury verdict. (It had offered $100,000 to settle before trial, which Christoff rejected.)

I'm going to speculate that he ended up with something in the high six figures, but that's a complete guess. Something in that range would still not be too bad considering that it ultimately stemmed from a one-day photo shoot twenty years ago, which he'd totally forgotten about.

Unless anybody else knows or can locate any details about the settlement, this has been your final Taster's Choice Guy's Case update.