Putative Class Members Cannot Establish Damages In Dietary Supplement Case


In Moore v. GNC Holdings, Inc., Southern District of Florida Judge Dimetrouleas ordered partial summary judgment in favor of GNC and against the class as to plaintiffs’ damages claims under Florida’s Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA). While this order does not dispense with all of the claims, it does eliminate any potential monetary award to the class, and limits plaintiffs to injunctive relief.

More specifically, despite the court’s finding that competing evidence exists as to whether a certain warning was necessary on the label of GNC’s dietary supplement product, plaintiffs could not establish actual monetary damages under FDUTPA.GNC proffered evidence that similar products with and without such a warning cost essentially the same per gram. Thus, plaintiffs could not prove that they had paid a price premium for the product at issue, and absent doing so, could not establish monetary damages. Under this logic, the court found, plaintiffs also could not establish that GNC retained any benefit beyond the market value of the product, and their claims for unjust enrichment also fail. 

While plaintiffs are no longer eligible to receive monetary damages as a result of this order, their counsel could still seek attorney’s fees under FDUPTA in the event they pursue, and prevail, on their injunction claim. The order cannot be appealed.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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