Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Calcium supplement class action

For some reason, West apparently just added Folbaum v. Rexall Sundown, Inc., 2004 WL 3574116 (N.J.Super.A.D.), a case upholding an individual claim against the defendant for false advertising of "Calcium 900," a supplement which only delivered 900 mg of calcium if you took three pills. Though the back of the bottle advised taking "three (3)" for the suggested adult usage of 900 mg, the plaintiff testified she didn't read the back and believed that she was taking 900 mg in each pill. Though the court upheld a jury verdict under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, it reversed the class certification on the ground that class members were only united by a state of mind (the state of having been fooled by the supplement's name). Although a NJCFA plaintiff need not prove reliance, she must prove causation linking the false claim to some harm suffered; those who purchased the supplement understanding that each pill had 300 mg suffered no ascertainable loss and thus could not properly be part of the class.

My calcium supplement is called "Calcium 1000," and requires 4 pills to get to the 1000 mg level; a bottle of 180 therefore lasts 45 days. Apparently Folbaum's limited success was not enough to get supplement manufacturers to change their ways.

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