Consumer Fraud

Supplement maker to pay $4.5M for false claims

whistleblower reward justice 375x210 Supplement maker to pay $4.5M for false claims An Illinois federal judge has OK’d a $4.5 million settlement in a class action that alleged Direct Digital LLC falsely marketed its dietary supplement Instaflex for joint health, Law360 reports. Direct Digital must also stop promoting the product for joint support.

The settlement amount includes $1,353,000 for the settlement fund, $75,000 in expenses, and a $5,000 award to the lead plaintiff. An estimated $400,000 will be used to notify class members, leaving about $2.6 million for the class payout. How much each consumer receives will depend on how many people join the class. The cost per bottle will be capped at $60, and the number of bottles eligible for reimbursement is limited to seven per class member. It is estimated that customers who bought the supplement will receive about $15 per bottle.

The lawsuit was filed in 2013 by Vince Mullins, who claimed the Direct Digital had falsely marketed Instaflex Joint Support as being scientifically formulated and clinically proven to improve joint function and repair cartilage.

The supplement’s active ingredient is glucosamine, which is thought to help prevent the breakdown of the cartilage. But Mullins’ lawsuit claimed that studies have shown that the ingredient is ineffective at treating joint pain and arthritis. The false claims lawsuit argues that by promoting the product for this use, consumers were conned into buying it.

The settlement also requires Direct Digital to stop claiming that Instaflex supports joint health, was created by a research group, contains an exclusive compound, or is a revolutionary formula. And, until research show that glucosamine improves joint health, the company cannot make claims that Instaflex benefits the joints.

Source: Law360