MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The law firms Weil Quaranta & McGovern of Miami and Los Angeles and Babbitt, Johnson, Osborne & Le Clainche of West Palm Beach have filed a federal class action suit against General Nutrition Corporation, alleging deception in the herbal supplement market.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida Monday on behalf of consumers around the nation who purchased four herbal supplements sold at GNC stores. It was the first class-action federal suit filed in the Southeast since the New York State Attorney General’s office issued a Feb. 2 Cease-and-Desist notification against GNC to stop selling adulterated or mislabeled supplements.
The 17-page lawsuit cites GNC for fraudulently mislabeling the following “Herbal Plus” dietary supplement products: GNC Plus Gingko Biloba; GNC Herbal Plus St. John’s Wort; GNC Herbal Plus Ginseng; and GNC Herbal Plus Echinacea.
Kelly Reyes v. General Nutrition Corporation, General Nutrition Centers, and GNC Holdings, United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Case No. 1:15-cv-20492-U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro
The lawsuit contends that the “Gingko Biloba,” “St. John’s Wort,” “Ginseng,” and “Echinacea” on GNC shelves contain no Gingko Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, or Echinacea. Rather, the lawsuit says, they may contain rice, garlic, wheat/grass, pine, or no plant substances at all.
“GNC’s products are not medicinal herbal supplements as they claim,” the lawsuit says. “Instead the supplements fail to contain any of the active ingredients represented by both the products’ names and label. As such, the supplements Defendants sell their customers are a sham.”
The suit lists five causes of action: violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act; unjust enrichment; breach of implied warranty of merchantability; breach of express warranty; and negligence.
“When products are not what they purport to be, the producer and seller deserve to be held accountable,” said Weil Quaranta Partner John M. Quaranta. “The New York report suggests a possible spreading infection in the $6-billion herbal industry.”
“This is more than a matter of mislabeling or even fraud. This is a potential public danger,” said Babbitt Johnson Partner Theodore Babbitt. “Unlabeled ingredients such as wheat or any number of contaminants can harm people with allergies or aversions.”
Concerned consumers who purchased the products above should email Kristi@wqmlaw.net or call 305-372-5352 and ask for Kristine Rodriguez.
Over 50 years, Babbitt, Johnson, Osborne Le Clainche has earned a national reputation for its representation of the seriously injured and wronged. Learn more at www.babbitt-johnson.com. Weil Quaranta McGovern is a prominent Miami and Los Angeles trial law firm with a focus on complex trial advocacy and litigation on behalf of businesses and individuals. Learn more at www.wqmlaw.net.
For the last two years, Babbitt Johnson and Weil Quaranta have been representing plaintiffs in high-profile continuing litigation against the Church of Scientology.