A California resident has filed a putative statewide consumer-fraud class action against the company that makes Natrol Glucosamine Chondroitin supplements and promotes them as products that can “Help[] Rebuild Cartilage Tissue” and contain “Clinically Tested Ingredients to Promote Optimal Joint Flexibility, Lubrication, Mobility and Comfort.” Dao v. Natrol, Inc., No. 13-2433 (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. Cal., filed October 9, 2013). According to the complaint, scientific studies confirm that these products “have no efficacy at all: that they are ineffective in the improvement of joint health, provide no benefits related to the reduction of pain in human joints, and they do not protect cartilage from breakdown.”  

The plaintiff alleges that she relied on the product labeling to purchase a bottle for $25 and did not obtain the promised relief. While she does not claim damages for physical harm, she contends that she lost money and would not have purchased the product if she had known it would not work. The complaint details the many studies published since 1999 indicating that the main ingredients in the defendant’s products are no more effective than placebos. Alleging violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Business & Professions Code, as well as breach of express warranty, the plaintiff seeks damages, restitution and disgorgement, injunctive relief including a corrective advertising campaign, attorney’s fees, and costs.