A federal court in California has granted final approval to the nationwide class settlement of claims that the company which makes Muscle Milk® products deceived consumers by labeling them with the terms “Healthy, Sustained Energy” and “Healthy Fats.” Delacruz v. CytoSport, Inc., No. 11-3532 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Cal., Oakland Div., order entered July 1, 2014). Additional information about the litigation and settlement appears in Issues 403, 436, 475, and 505 of this Update. Under the agreement, CytoSport will pay $1 million to eligible class members and cease using the allegedly deceptive terms on all newly printed packaging for certain products. The company may continue to use the designation “Healthy Fats” on the packaging for Muscle Milk® RTD and related products if they contain “fewer than 0.5 grams of saturated fat per serving, or CytoSport also includes the words ‘See nutrition information for saturated fat content’ in connection with the words ‘Healthy Fats.’”
The court also awarded class counsel more than $855,000 in attorney’s fees and $190,000 in costs. So ruling, the court overruled objections filed by several individuals including Theodore Frank, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy and editor of its Web magazine PointofLaw.com. According to the court, the agreement “does not provide Class Counsel with a disproportionate distribution of the Settlement and Settlement Class Members will receive a guaranteed monetary distribution of $1 million. The Settlement Agreement also does not contain any ‘kicker’ arrangement whereby any reduction in attorneys’ fees reverts to CytoSport.” The court also noted that more than 33,000 class members had already applied to receive more than $30.00 each and that no federal or state government officials who received notice filed objections.