Cytodyne Ordered To Pay $12.5 Million

June 23, 2003

1 Min Read
Cytodyne Ordered To Pay $12.5 Million

Cytodyne Ordered To Pay $12.5 Million

SAN DIEGOIn a California class action lawsuit that began March 6,the San Diego Superior Court found Manasquan, N.J.-based Cytodyne Technologiesmisled consumers with false or misleading advertising for its Xenadrine RFA-1ephedra-based weight-loss product. In a ruling announced May 30, the court alsofound the company had misrepresented study results in some circumstances, andthat some before-and-after testimonials were false and misleading. Cytodyne hasbeen ordered to pay $12.5 million in restitution to consumers who purchased theproduct during the class period (1997 to 2001), in addition to attorneys feesand injunctive relief.

According to Cytodyne, which plans to appeal, this is a tentative ruling. Wecontinue to firmly believe that our advertising claims are truthful and accuratein all respects, Cytodyne stated in a May 30 press release. This ruling isa severe and inappropriate blow to the First Amendment rights of all companiesthat advertise their products in the State of California.

The company added the states false advertising laws are lax, allowing anybusiness that advertises to be sued. Indeed, claims found to be misleading bythis California Superior Court in its tentative decision had already beenreviewed by a U.S. District Court and found to be substantiated, Cytodynereported. Timothy Muris [the current chairman of the Federal TradeCommission] has testified favorably regarding our advertisements in the past,demonstrating the credibility of the advertisements.

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