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What’s the Problem?
Glucosamine is a popular oral supplement used to treat osteoarthritis, a painful condition caused by the inflammation, breakdown and loss of cartilage. There are several different forms of glucosamine including glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride and N-acetyl glucosamine.
These supplements aren’t considered interchangeable. Because studies have found that glucosamine sulfate is more effective than glucosamine hydrochloride, many consumers prefer joint supplements that contain glucosamine sulfate.
The lawsuit, which was filed in June 2019 in California federal court, alleges the Spring Valley joint supplements do not contain glucosamine sulfate, even though the product label clearly indicates that it contains 1,000 mg of the product.
The suit further claims that plaintiff’s attorneys sent the Spring Valley glucosamine to a laboratory for analysis, which concluded that no glucosamine sulfate was present in the supplements.
“Walmart is selling a dietary supplement that simply is not what it claims to be,” the complaint states.
Lead plaintiff asserts that she would not have purchased the Spring Valley glucosamine supplements had she known they did not actually contain glucosamine sulfate.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a nationwide Class and a California subclass of people who purchased Spring Valley joint supplements labeled as containing glucosamine sulfate.
The suit brings claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and violations of the California Unfair Competition Law, the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and the California False Advertising Law.
Walmart Wins False-Ad Appeal Over Glucosamine Labels
In May 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Walmart in a class-action lawsuit which alleged that the company had incorrectly labeled certain dietary supplement products as glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine sulfate potassium chloride. The decision was based on the fact that Plaintiffs’ allegations relied on different test methods than those prescribed by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).
Under the FDCA, a food (dietary supplements are included as foods) is misbranded if it is sold under the name of another food, or if it does not include certain mandatory nutrition information. Compliance with the nutrition labeling requirements is determined by specified testing protocols, which provide in part that testing should be conducted by a method approved by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC).
In the lawsuit, Plaintiffs alleged that true glucosamine sulfate potassium chloride consists of a single crystal composed of glucosamine, sulfate, potassium, and chloride, and that their testing revealed that Walmart’s products contained a blend of glucosamine hydrochloride and potassium sulfate, which they alleged should be labeled as glucosamine hydrochloride.
However, the test methodology which Plaintiff’s expert used was neither an AOAC method nor had it been appropriately validated, the court of appeals found. Additionally, Plaintiffs’ expert acknowledged that other validated methods characterized the blended product as glucosamine sulfate potassium chloride.
Other recalls from Walmart:
See all related dietary supplement lawsuits our attorneys covered so far.
Do I Have a Walmart Glucosamine Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Walmart Glucosamine Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one purchased Walmart Spring Valley glucosamine sulfate, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.