Lawyers To Pocket $4 Million in Glucosamine Deal
MADISON, CONN. Nov. 15, 2017 – Continuing its efforts to fight for settlements that are fair to consumers and mandate real changes to deceptive marketing, ad watchdog organization truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org) has filed an objection in a proposed class-action settlement involving the brand-name glucosamine supplement, Nature Made TripleFlex.
The proposed settlement, TINA.org argues in a legal brief, gives too much money to plaintiffs’ attorneys, too little compensation to victims, and does nothing to change the alleged deceptive labeling of the supplement in regard to unsupported claims to increase joint mobility and reduce joint pain — the very claims that served as the basis for the complaint.
Often marketed for joint pain, glucosamine is one of the most popular non-vitamin dietary supplements sold in the U.S., with sales topping $750 million in 2012. But a recent review of available research on the effects of glucosamine found the supplement no better than a placebo at reducing arthritic pain. Meanwhile, both the Osteoarthritis Research Society International and the U.S. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have issued guidance about the lack of evidence for glucosamine as a cure for joint pain.
TINA.org filed a legal brief in the case arguing that the settlement does not adequately address the deceptive marketing issues because it only bans TripleFlex’s marketer, Pharmavite, from using two specific words on the label of its glucosamine supplement – rebuild and rejuvenate (and derivatives of these two words). Furthermore, the ban is binding for, at most, two years. Far longer is the lifetime ban on suing the company for deceptive advertising that the proposed settlement imposes on class members.
Under the settlement terms, plaintiffs’ attorneys will pocket more $4 million while cash refunds for the class members they represent are capped at $100 per household. The settlement agreement defines the class as any U.S. resident who purchased TripleFlex at a cost of $15-$40 a bottle between approximately May 2007 and June 2017.
According to TINA.org’s Executive Director Bonnie Patten, “Not only does this proposed settlement fail to remedy the deceptive marketing alleged in the operative complaint, but it shields defendant’s marketing from future litigation. The clear winner here is not the consumer but the marketer and the plaintiffs’ attorneys who continue to profit handsomely at the expense of the very people they claimed to represent.”
Read more about TINA.org’s objection here: https://truthinadvertising.org/glucosamine-settlement-raw-deal-consumers/
See more of TINA.org’s legal actions at: www.truthinadvertising.org/legal-action/legal-efforts/