Television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz agreed to pay $5.25 million and stop airing three episodes of The Dr. Oz Show that promoted dietary supplements as miracle weight-loss pills to settle a proposed class action lawsuit. The suit, filed in California federal court, alleges he misrepresented the effectiveness of the diet pills.
Veda Woodard, Teresa Rizzo-Marino and Diane Morrison, representing the class, alleged they bought diet pills sold by former bodybuilder Lee Labrada though his company Labrada Bodybuilding Nutrition Inc., after seeing him promote Labrada Gardenia Cambodia Dual Action Fat Buster and Labrada Green Coffee Bean Extract Fat Loss Optimizer on Dr. Oz’s daytime television show. The products were promoted as “revolutionary fat buster,” “miracle in a bottle,” and “Magic weight-loss cure.”
The lawsuit also claimed that while Dr. Oz regularly told viewers that he was not attempting to sell products, he did not disclose that at least one special guest on the show who talked up the benefits of green coffee bean extract was actually selling the product.
Woodard, Rizzo-Marino and Morrison claim that after they bought the diet pills, they discovered the supplements were worthless and that there was little scientific proof that they worked.
The proposed class includes people in the U.S. who were enticed to purchase the diet pills after viewing the allegedly falsely advertised products on Dr. Oz’s show. Class members with proof of purchase will receive $30 for each Labrada product they bought. Class members without receipts will be limited to $90 in total compensation. Attorneys representing the class can seek fees and expenses up to 30 percent of the settlement. Woodard and Morrison are entitled to awards up to $5,000, while Rizzo-Marino can seek up to$7,500.