Expand Federal Pre-emption In Supplement Claims Complaints? Not So Fast, Says Ninth Circuit
The ruling reverses district court’s dismissal of class action against CVS after determining the lower court erred in determining federal law pre-empted the consumer plaintiff’s state-law causes of action. It says while consumers are prohibited under California law from arguing that a product doesn’t provide a benefit that isn’t claimed, plaintiffs can demand substantiation for claims that are made.
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Ruling upheld Massachusetts federal court’s approval of Vitamin Shoppe’s motion for summary judgement. Complaint alleged because the firm “substantiated its claims about supplemental glutamine with evidence about naturally occurring glutamine, the claims are not substantiated” under FDA’s structure/function claim rule and FDCA doesn’t preempt state law claims.
Class action plaintiffs have a narrower window to challenge structure/function claims as misleading under recent Ninth Circuit court ruling that federal law pre-empts state laws concerning product claims. A “headache” for plaintiffs, the ruling provides retailers and manufacturers cause for motions to dismiss.
US Ninth Circuit affirms a district court’s summary judgment in favor of Target and manufacturer of Up & Up brand biotin supplement it sells. Indian manufacturer targeted in putative class-action in New York prompted FDA’s 2016 creation of import alert category for Ayurvedic supplements.