LawStreetMedia.com reports that in the Central District of California, a consumer filed a class-action complaint against Amazon last Friday, which alleges that the Internet giant is selling dietary supplements that do not contain the actual listed ingredients.
The particular dietary supplement in question is glucosamine sulfate, which is typically used for joint pain. However, the plaintiff alleges that the glucosamine sulfate product contains no glucosamine sulfate, which is the main active compound in many herbal supplements for arthritis.
Consequently, Amazon, the complaint claims, engaged in “unfair, unlawful, unethical(,) fraudulent, misleading, unconscionable, and/or deceptive sales and/or marketing of its Glucosamine Sulfate containing Supplements (‘Glucosamine Sulfate Products’).”
The plaintiff alleges that he purchased Solimo Glucosamine Sulfate 2KC 1,000 mg, however, laboratory testing revealed that the product did not contain any glucosamine sulfate.
Furthermore, the plaintiff purchased the more expensive glucosamine sulfate rather than the standard glucosamine because the former is usually more effective than the latter in supporting joint health. Glucosamine supplements pull in hundreds of millions in revenue every year.
The plaintiff’s complaint says that according to U.S. law, “a food ‘shall be deemed to be misbranded’ if it is a dietary supplement and fails to list ‘the name of each ingredient’ in the dietary supplement, the ‘quantity of each such ingredient,’ or ‘the label or labeling of the supplement fails to identify any part of the plant from which the ingredient is derived.’”
And because Amazon maintains that the Glucosamine Sulfate products on its website are what they claim to be, and that “each capsule contains a specific amount of a particular supplement, ” the online retail giant should be held accountable, suggests the complaint.
Amazon failed to disclose that the product in question “does not contain the ingredients represented on the Affect Products’ labels or that the Affected Products contain adulterants or undisclosed substances.”
The product did in fact test for glucosamine, however not glucosamine sulfate but rather glucosamine hydrochloride and potassium sulfate. According to the complaint, the analysis found no trace of Glucosamine Sulfate, contrary to the claims on the product; the plaintiff claimed that he (and the forthcoming or “putative” class members) would not have purchased these products if this information was disclosed.
According to LawStreetMedia.com, the putative class consists of “All individuals and entities in the United States who purchased SOLIMO Glucosamine Sulfate products within the applicable statutes of limitations preceding the filing of this lawsuit.”
The counts against Amazon include breach of express warranty under the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, violation of the California Unfair Competition Law, violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and violation of California False Advertising Law.
The plaintiff seeks class certification and for the plaintiff and his counsel to represent the classes; declaratory and injunctive relief; restitution; disgorgement; an award for damages, cost and fees; pre- and post-judgment interest; and other relief.