Week Adjourned: 3.2.18 – Nature’s Bounty, Honda Airbags, Trump Golf

Top Class Action Lawsuits

Biotin a bit bogus? A consumer fraud class action lawsuit has been filed in New York against The Nature’s Bounty Co. alleging the supplement maker misrepresents its biotin supplements as being able to improve hair, skin and nails. According to the plaintiffs, the product actually is an unnecessary addition to the amounts of biotin that a healthy person typically consumes each day.

According to plaintiff Perla Mazzo, the supplements provide roughly 150 times or 300 times the recommended amount of biotin that a healthy individual aged 18 or older should consume. Mazzo asserts in the biotin supplement lawsuit that the average adult is already consuming sufficient amounts of biotin without supplements. Therefore, the complaint states, the products are unnecessary and don’t provide any of their alleged benefits

“The taking of biotin at these levels is a waste of money and wholly pointless,” Mazzo states in the complaint. Therefore, the representation on the front labels of these supplements that they “support healthy hair, skin, and nails,” is misleading, the complaint states.

Consumers pay between $10 and $25 a bottle for products they wrongly believed would provide health benefits, the complaint alleges.

“Mega-doses of biotin do not support healthy hair, skin and nails, because the general population already consumers sufficient, if not additional amounts of biotin from their daily diets,” according to the complaint.

Further, Mazzo claims that there are articles that claim excessive amounts of biotin may be harmful, causing problems such as acne, allergic reactions and respiratory issues.

The plaintiff seeks to represent a nationwide class of consumers who have purchased the biotin products, or alternatively, a class of Florida consumers who bought the supplements. The suit alleges violations of Florida unfair competition laws and common law.

Mazzo is represented by Roy E. Jacobs of Roy Jacobs & Associates and Laurence D. Paskowitz of Paskowitz Law Firm PC.

The lawsuit is Perla Mazzo v. The Nature’s Bounty Co., case number 2:18-cv-01255, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Top Settlements

Finally! Honda has finally settled! To the tune of $605 million baby! The settlement has been granted final approval by a federal judge, ending multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Honda related to the defective Takata airbags. The approval makes Honda the sixth automobile manufacturer to exit the litigation.

According to the terms of the settlement, portions of the settlement funds will be used to inform additional affected drivers about Takata’s defective air bags and to cover drivers’ out-of-pocket expenses incurred while getting their recalled cars fixed, including child care costs. Class members will also be provided with rental or loaner vehicles while they are having their cars fixed. Remaining funds will be distributed to class members in amounts up to $250. Class representatives will receive $5,000 each.

Toyota, Subaru, Mazda and BMW have all settled, paying a combined $553.6 million. In August 2017, Nissan settled for $98 million.

Takata was facing its own MDL, alleging that Takata embarked on a concealment campaign, designed to cover-up evidence of airbag defects: specifically, that the airbags contain ammonium nitrate that can spontaneously explode, sending shrapnel into the vehicle, injuring passengers and drivers alike. Takata filed for Chapter 11 in June, under the weight of billions of dollars of potential liability and trillions in claims stemming from the company’s faulty air bag inflators.

The case is In re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, case number 1:15-md-02599, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

It’s Tee Time! A $5.45 million settlement has been reached potentially ending an unfair business practices class action lawsuit pending against The Trump National Golf Club in Florida.

The lawsuit claimed that a regulation imposed by Donald Trump before he became president cheated members out of fees.

Filed on behalf of 65 former members of the Trump National Golf Club, they claimed that Trump changed the membership rules of the club in Jupiter when the Trump Organization purchased the former Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa in 2012. The club had allowed members who wanted to leave to continue to play golf (and pay dues) until replacement members were found. Their membership deposits were refunded once replacements stepped into the spots.

However, after Trump took over, club members who had wanted to leave either had to convert their memberships to discounted, non-refundable deposits to continue club access, or stop using the club altogether while replacements were found, a process which could take years, during which time members’ fees were not refunded.

US District Judge Kenneth Marra ordered the golf club to refund all the membership fees with interest, which amounted to $5.77 million. The former members later agreed to the lower amount to avoid the threat of a lengthy appeal.

According to the Huffington Post, Donald Trump has been sued more than 4,000 times. Holy Moly Batman!

Ok Folks – that’s a wrap for this week. See you at the bar!!

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