GNC targeted in Florida Federal Class Action Suits

GNC targeted in Florida federal class action suits alleging deception in labeling and selling popular nutritional supplements

WEST PALM BEACH, FL. February 10, 2015 – The law firms Weil Quaranta of Miami and Los Angeles and Babbitt & Johnson P.A. of West Palm Beach have filed a federal class action suit against General Nutrition Corporation, alleging deception in the herbal supplement market.

The suit, filed late Monday in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida, was filed 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 filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida 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-XXXX

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.

For 50 years, Babbitt & Johnson P.A. has a prominent advocate for the seriously injured. Learn more at www.babbitt-johnson.com. Weil Quaranta is a prominent Miami 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.

About Babbitt & Johnson P.A.
Since 1967, the law firm of Babbitt & Johnson P.A., in West Palm Beach, Florida has been seeking justice for its clients against people and businesses whose negligent behavior has caused serious injury. To find out more about how Babbitt &Johnson P.A. can help, visit www.babbitt-johnson.com or call (888) 666-0523.