In what is believed to be the largest settlement of its kind, Sommers Schwartz attorneys Jason Thompson and Trent Kashima secured a $12 million settlement in a class action against Cytosport, Inc. The lawsuit claimed the defendant misrepresented the protein levels in its Muscle Milk products with exaggerated label claims. The plaintiffs – located in Michigan – filed suit to recover a portion of the purchase price on both Muscle Milk protein powders and liquid ready-to-drink (RTD) protein supplements.
The plaintiffs alleged the defendant’s RTD products contained approximately 11 percent fewer grams of protein than advertised on the label. Bodybuilders, athletes, and people watching their weight through low-carb diets commonly count the number of protein grams they consume daily. The plaintiffs argued that an 11-percent exaggeration of protein grams was materially false and unreasonable.
The lawsuit also alleged the label on Muscle Milk’s powder product included representations regarding L-glutamine amounts and “lean lipid” ingredients. The plaintiffs’ argued those claims were also false because the product did not, in fact, contain the stated L-glutamine amounts, nor is there is no such thing as “lean fat.”
The defendant contested all of the label claims and the certification of the plaintiff class. The federal district court presiding over multiple suits certified a nationwide class, with specific subclasses for Michigan, California, and Florida consumers.
After four years of litigation and multiple mediation proceedings, the parties agreed to the $12,000,000 settlement – seen as the largest settlement in a protein supplement class action. During the hearing for final approval, U.S. District Court Judge M. James Lorenz in the Southern District of California praised Messrs. Thompson and Kashima, stating on the record they did a “tremendously effective job” in litigating and resolving the matter on behalf of their clients.
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