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This case involves dietary supplements labeled as containing Glucosamine Sulfate sold by Doctor’s Best, including Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Sulfate 750mg, Vegan Glucosamine Sulfate 750mg, Synergistic Glucosamine MSM, Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM, Vegan Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM, and Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM + Hyaluronic Acid. For purposes of settlement only, the Court has certified a Settlement Class. The Settlement Class is defined as “all Persons who purchased the Product in the United States, other than for purposes of resale, during the period beginning July 22, 2016 and ending on February 28, 2022." Therefore, you are a member of the Settlement Class if, between July 22, 2016 and February 28, 2022, you purchased the Product anywhere in the United States. Your purchase cannot have been for purposes of resale.
The Settlement Class excludes (1) Honorable Josephine L. Staton, Honorable John D. Early, and Honorable Edward A. Infante (Ret.), and any member of their immediate families; (2) any government entity; (3) Doctor’s Best; (4) any entity in which Doctor’s Best has a controlling interest; (5) any of Doctor’s Best’s subsidiaries, parents, affiliates, officers, directors, employees, legal representatives, heirs, successors, or assigns; (6) any persons who timely opt out of the Settlement Class; and (7) any Person that purchased the Product for resale.
If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you will be bound by the settlement and judgment in this case, unless you request to be excluded.
In this lawsuit, the Plaintiff asserts that although the Products’ packaging and labeling, as well as representations made by Doctor’s Best on its websites and in its advertising, state that the Products contain Glucosamine Sulfate, the Products in fact contain glucosamine hydrochloride and potassium sulfate and do not contain Glucosamine Sulfate. Plaintiff alleges that Doctor’s Best is liable for (a) unfair, unlawful, and fraudulent business practices in violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq., (b) false advertising in violation of California’s False Advertising Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17500 et seq., (c) violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 1750 et seq., (d) breach of warranty, and (e) unjust enrichment. Plaintiff seeks to pursue her claims on behalf of herself and others who purchased the Products in the United States.
Doctor’s Best denies that there is any factual or legal basis for Plaintiff’s allegations. Doctor’s Best contends that the labeling of the Products is truthful and non-misleading, and that the Products are properly labeled in accordance with the Official Methods of Analysis of the Association of Official Analytic Collaboration. Doctor’s Best therefore denies all claims asserted by Plaintiff and the Settlement Class and denies that it has engaged in any wrongdoing. Doctor’s Best also denies that Plaintiff or any other members of the Settlement Class has suffered injury or is entitled to monetary or other relief.
The Court has not determined whether Plaintiff or Doctor’s Best is correct.
Plaintiff contends that, if Doctor’s Best had not engaged in the labeling, marketing, and advertising that she challenges, she would not have purchased the Product. Plaintiff seeks to recover, on behalf of a class of individuals who purchased the Products in the United States between July 22, 2016 and February 28, 2022 (except for purchases made for purposes of resale), the dollar amount of the purchase price paid for the Products that is attributable to the alleged misrepresentations. Plaintiff believes that, if she is successful at trial, she could win damages or restitution of up to the full amount of the retail purchase price.
Doctor’s Best denies that there is any legal entitlement to a refund or any other monetary relief.
The Court has not determined whether Plaintiff or Doctor’s Best is correct.
Plaintiff’s Counsel has investigated the manufacture, marketing, labeling, and performance of the Products, and has conducted a thorough examination of the relevant law. Plaintiff has arranged for laboratory testing of the Product and exchanged documents and information with Doctor’s Best.
Based on this investigation, Plaintiff’s Counsel has determined that there are significant risks of continuing the litigation. Among the risks of continued litigation are the possibility that the court will grant Doctor’s Best’s motion to dismiss (which the Court has held in abeyance pending consummation of this settlement) or decline to certify a class; that summary judgment will be entered against Plaintiff; and/or that Plaintiff will be unable to prove liability, damages, or entitlement to injunctive relief at trial on a class wide or individual basis. In particular, there may be difficulties establishing that (1) the Products do not contain Glucosamine Sulfate according to how a reasonable consumer understands that term; (2) a reasonable consumer would find material the disclosure of Glucosamine Sulfate in the Supplement Facts labeling on Products that did not contain the term “Glucosamine Sulfate” on their front label; (3) a reasonable consumer would find material the fact that “combination” Products, i.e. Products that Doctor’s Best labels as containing both Glucosamine Sulfate and other ingredients, allegedly contain glucosamine hydrochloride and potassium sulfate rather than Glucosamine Sulfate; (4) common questions predominate over individual issues such that a class may be certified on some or all claims for purchases in states outside California; and/or (5) damages or restitution should be awarded or, if so, that any such award should be more than nominal.
Throughout this litigation, Plaintiff, through Plaintiff’s Counsel, and Doctor’s Best, through Doctor’s Best’s counsel, have discussed the possibility of settlement. On April 13, 2021, Plaintiff, through Plaintiff’s Counsel, Doctor’s Best, and Covington & Burling LLP (“Doctor’s Best’s Counsel”) participated in an all-day remote mediation conducted by the Honorable Edward A. Infante (Ret.), a retired federal magistrate judge. This settlement was reached following those efforts.
After taking into account the risks and costs of further litigation, Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s Counsel believe that the terms and conditions of the settlement are fair, reasonable, adequate, and equitable, and that the settlement is in the best interest of the Settlement Class Members.
As part of the settlement, Doctor’s Best has agreed that, for a period of three years, it will not represent on any labels, marketing, and advertising materials that any Product offered for sale by Doctor’s Best before the Effective Date contains Glucosamine Sulfate; and shall not represent on any labels, marketing, and advertising materials that any new Product offered for sale by Doctor’s Best after the Effective Date contains Glucosamine Sulfate, unless it actually contains Glucosamine Sulfate.
In addition, as part of the settlement, Doctor’s Best will provide partial refunds to Settlement Class Members, as described in the next sections.
If you file a valid claim and you do not submit proof of purchase, you will receive five dollars ($5.00) for each package of the Product that you purchased in the United States between July 22, 2016 and February 28, 2022, up to a maximum of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per Household. If you file a valid claim and you do submit proof of purchase, you will receive an amount equal to 60% of the purchase price for each package of the Product that you purchased in the United States between July 22, 2016 and February 28, 2022, up to a maximum of twelve (12) Product packages per Household.
If you submit proof of purchase for more than 12 Product packages, you will receive a refund for the first 12 packages that you purchased during the period between July 22, 2016 and February 28, 2022.
If you and another Settlement Class Member residing in your Household file valid claims that collectively exceed the maximum Household payments described above, you and the other resident(s) of your Household will be paid in the order that the Claim Administrator receives your claims, up to the applicable maximum.
“Proof of purchase” means (i) either an itemized sales receipt generated by a retail seller, or a photocopy or digital image file thereof, showing the date and place of purchase, name of the product purchased, and the amount paid, or (ii) any document or method that the Claim Administrator believes in its discretion evidences proof.
“Purchase price” means the price before any applicable taxes, including sales tax, and after any discounts.
To date, Plaintiff’s Counsel have not been compensated for any of their work on this case. Plaintiff’s Counsel will present evidence to the Court that they have spent more than 400 hours litigating this case. In addition, Plaintiff’s Counsel will present evidence that they have paid out-of-pocket expenses (including filing fees, service costs, copying costs, and travel expenses) of approximately $12,000. None of these expenses has yet been reimbursed. As part of the settlement, Plaintiff’s Counsel may apply to the Court for an award from Doctor’s Best to pay their attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses. After negotiating the benefits to Class Members and finalizing the Settlement Agreement, Plaintiff’s Counsel and Doctor’s Best separately negotiated the amount of the award of attorneys’ fees and expenses to be paid to Plaintiff’s Counsel. Doctor’s Best acknowledges and agrees that Plaintiff’s Counsel are entitled to a fee award. In recognition of the terms of the settlement and the prosecution and settlement of the Action, and subject to Court approval, Doctor’s Best has agreed to pay an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses to Plaintiff’s Counsel not to exceed $475,000.00 (the “Fee and Expense Amount”). This Fee and Expense Amount includes the fees and expenses incurred by Plaintiff’s Counsel in connection with the prosecution and settlement of the Action.
In addition, Plaintiff may apply to the Court for a payment. This payment is designed to compensate Plaintiff for the time, effort, and risks she undertook in pursuing this litigation and for executing a broader release of claims than other Settlement Class Members. Neither any award of fees, costs, and expenses to Class Counsel nor any payment to Plaintiff will affect payments to Settlement Class Members from the settlement.
Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s Counsel will file a motion with the Court no later than May 20, 2022, in support of their applications for attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses and payment to the Plaintiff. A copy of that motion will be available on this website.
The Court will determine the amount of attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, and payment to Plaintiff to award.
You can exclude yourself from the Settlement Class if you wish to retain the right to sue Doctor’s Best separately for the claims released by the settlement. If you exclude yourself, you cannot file a claim or object to the settlement.
To exclude yourself, you must complete and submit the online form or mail a request to opt out of the settlement to the Claim Administrator at Casey v. Doctor’s Best, PO Box 225391, New York, New York, 10150-5391. If mailed, the exclusion request must contain your name, address, the words “I wish to be excluded from the Glucosamine Sulfate Class Action Settlement,” and your signature.
If submitted online, exclusion requests must be made no later than June 10, 2022. If mailed, exclusion requests must be made such that they are received by the Claim Administrator (not just postmarked) by no later than June 10, 2022.
You can ask the Court to deny approval by filing an objection. You can’t ask the Court to order a larger settlement; the Court can only approve or deny the settlement. If the Court denies approval to the entire settlement, no settlement payments will be sent out, and the lawsuit will continue. If that is what you want to happen, you must object.
You can also ask the Court to disapprove the requested payments to Plaintiff or to her attorneys. If those payments are disapproved or adjusted, no additional money will be paid to the Settlement Class.
You may also, but are not required to, appear at the Final Approval hearing. You may appear through your own attorney if you so desire, or you may appear in person without an attorney. If you appear through your own attorney, you are responsible for hiring and paying that attorney. To appear at the Final Approval hearing, you need to file a written objection to the settlement or a written request to the Court for permission to appear.
You can exercise any of the above options regardless of whether or not you file a claim, but not if you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class.
Any objection must include (1) the case name and number Casey v. Doctor’s Best, Case No. 8:20-cv-01325-JLS (C.D. Cal.); (2) your name, address, and telephone number; (3) documents or testimony sufficient to establish that you are a member of the Settlement Class; (4) a detailed statement of your objection(s), including the grounds for those objection(s); (5) a statement as to whether you are requesting the opportunity to appear and be heard at the final approval hearing; (6) the name(s) and address(es) of all lawyers (if any) who (a) are representing you in making the objection, (b) may be entitled to compensation in connection with your objection, and/or (c) will appear on your behalf at the Final Approval hearing; (7) the name(s) and address(es) of all persons (if any) who will be called to testify in support of your objection; (8) copies of any papers, briefs, or other documents upon which your objection is based if not already in the court file; (9) a detailed list of any other objections you or your counsel have submitted to any class action in any state or federal court in the United States in the previous five years (or an affirmative statement that no such prior objection has been made); and (10) your signature as objector, in addition to the signature of your attorney, if an attorney is representing you with the objection. Failure to include this information and documentation may be grounds for overruling and striking your objection.
All written objections, requests to appear, and supporting papers must clearly identify the case name and number, Casey v. Doctor’s Best, Case No. 8:20-cv-01325-JLS (C.D. Cal.). These documents must be sent to the Claim Administrator or to Plaintiff’s Counsel and Doctor’s Best’s Counsel at the addresses shown on this website, who will then file all objections, requests to appear, and supporting papers with the Court. Documents must be received, not merely postmarked, no later than June 10, 2022.
You can inspect many of the court Documents connected with this case on this Settlement Website. Other papers filed in this lawsuit are available by accessing the Court docket in this case at https://pacer.login.uscourts.gov/ (select “California Central District Court” as your court and perform a case number query using case number 8:20-cv-01325-JLS), or by visiting the office of the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, 255 East Temple Street, Suite 180, Los Angeles, CA 90012, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays.
You can also obtain additional information by contacting Plaintiff’s Counsel at Wolf Popper LLP, 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022.