Via the District of New Jersey, please find attached the order dismissing the case in Ward v. Arm & Hammer [sic], 341 F.Supp.2d 499 (2004): no, a baking soda manufacturer has no legal duty to warn users that using baking soda to cook crack cocaine is illegal. (See David Lat’s blog for the complaint.)
We can still find something to complain about, though: the district court has the power under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 to dismiss the case sua sponte as frivolous, which this case was in even the most narrow and technical senses of the word, or even just to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim without waiting for briefing. Church & Dwight Co., the makers of Arm & Hammer, was forced to retain Morgan, Lewis & Bockius to file multiple briefs in the federal court at not inconsiderable expense to rid itself of this nuisance suit.
Update: The post originally protested the granting of in forma pauperis status; David Giacalone correctly points out in the comments that IFP status is automatic without a showing of bad faith, and that my complaint was with the failure of the court to exercise its sua sponte powers to dismiss. I’ve corrected the post accordingly.