In a landmark decision, the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, has approved a settlement agreement in the class action suit against Boiron Inc. The settlement could potentially yield up to $5 million in refunds to customers who purchased the company’s homeopathic products including Oscillo, Arnicare, Chestal and Coldcalm. The court also ordered Boiron to update its labeling information and include a disclaimer, as well as provide additional data on homeopathic dilution to consumers.
Free Dietary Supplement Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by a dietary supplement, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the supplement and we can help.
What’s the problem?
The class action lawsuit, Gallucci v. Boiron, Inc., asserted the company made overblown claims that its products had the ability to treat a wide range of ailments including the flu, arthritis, joint pain, aches, fevers, coughs, and insomnia. Additionally, the complaint attacked the practice of homeopathic medicine in general, arguing that many of the ingredients in Boiron’s products are so diluted that they are no more effective than placebos.
In addition to the settlement against Boiron, two other class actions were recently filed in California. The suits were brought against Hyland’s and Standard Homeopathy, alleging the companies marketed a number of ‘cure-all’ homeopathic products
which contained no active ingredients in amounts sufficient enough to do much of anything at all. Additionally, the class actions accuse both Hyland’s and Standard Homeopathy of:
- being in violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Unfair Competition Law and the Unfair Advertising Law;
- breach of express warranty;
- implied warranty of merchantability;
- money had and received;
- money paid;
- unjust enrichment.
Thus far, the defense has won dismissal of the unjust enrichment charge, but the others still stand.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) sent a warning letter to Schwabe North America regarding claims about its line of homeopathic products. The FDA stated that Schwabe’s supplements were illegally marketed because they combine approved homeopathic ingredients with non-approved ones. Additionally, the administration warned the company about claims made about its products, including the mitigation/treatment of the common cold.
One particular passage in the FDA’s warning letter to Schwabe may similarly be applied to the Boiron case:
“FDA does not consider a disclaimer that a product is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or mitigate a disease enough to neutralize disease claims that appear elsewhere.”
Taking the administration’s stance on the matter into consideration, the disclaimer currently proposed in the Boiron settlement may ultimately be deemed insufficient to keep them out of legal trouble in the future.
Do I Have a Dietary Supplement Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in dietary supplement lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new side effects cases in all 50 states.
Free Dietary Supplement Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by a dietary supplement, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a dietary supplement injury suit and we can help.