GNC Holdings Inc. and USPLabs LLC have agreed to resolve claims that they failed to warn or misled consumers about their dietary supplements, which were recalled because they contained dimethylamylamine (DMAA ) or aegeline, which can allegedly cause liver damage. Velasquez v. USPLabs LLC, No. 13-0627 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Fla., motion for preliminary approval filed September 23, 2014). Additional information about DMAA products appears in Issue 7 of this Report. In April 2014, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation refused to transfer actions relating to these dietary supplements to a single court for resolution of pre-trial proceedings, a matter discussed in Issue 23 of this Report.
If approved by the court, a $2-million fund would be established for a nationwide class of product purchasers who submit requests for reimbursement. Each would be able to recover $35 per container of OxyELITE Pro purchased, $20 per container of Jack3d purchased, and $20 per container of VERSA -1 purchased. Those purchasers with receipts would have no limit on reimbursements, while others could receive a maximum refund of $150. Unclaimed funds would be distributed cy pres to a charitable organization that is yet to be designated. The plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary approval of the class settlement outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the claims, including that the “well-publicized nature” of the controversy over the products could have given many purchasers “actual knowledge” of the purported false advertising before making their purchases, a factor that can preclude class certification. The defendants continue to “deny all allegations of wrongdoing and of liability, and deny any causation of harm or damage to the Settlement Class.”