Testosterone Class Action Lawsuit Targets Herbal Supplements
On May 15, 2014, three men who live in California and Delaware filed a testosterone class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The lawsuit names as defendants the nutritional supplement chain GNC, as well as a number of manufacturers and marketers of herbal supplements containing Testofen, an extract of fenugreek.
The premise of the plaintiffs’ complaint is that the defendants marketed and sold the supplements claiming that they would boost testosterone when studies show that the herbs have no effect on the male hormone levels.
Testosterone plaintiffs seek class action certification
The plaintiffs have requested certification as a class action lawsuit. Many defective drug cases are consolidated into one or several courts during the fact-finding stages but then tried individually because they allege drug-induced injuries that are unique to each plaintiff. But in a class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs must all face a similar injury and the named plaintiffs represent every other member of the class who is in the same situation.
Testofen products have been marketed as a way to increase free testosterone levels. They have been reported to increase muscle mass and libido and treat erectile dysfunction. But reports on its effectiveness have been mixed.
Some of the brands involved in the testosterone supplement lawsuit include:
- Troxyphen Elite
- Ageless Male containing Troxyphen
- Text X180
- High T
- Test Freak
- PMD Flex Stack
- NO2 Red Test
- Ultra T Gold
- Vitali-T Aid
Testosterone class action lawsuit alleges fraud
The common damage alleged by the testosterone class action plaintiffs is harm from intentional and fraudulent marketing. The plaintiffs argue that the testosterone lawsuit defendants have purposefully misstated studies to make it appear that Testofen is more effective than it really is. The allegations go beyond mistaken or negligent misstatements – the complaint alleges fraud, racketeering, violations of consumer product laws, and breaches of warranties.
The plaintiffs have requested an order preventing the defendants from fraudulently advertising the Testofen products. They also seek reimbursement, to themselves and the class they seek to represent, of the purchase price of the supplements, as well as punitive damages and attorney fees.
What is fenugreek?
Fenugreek, the herb from which Testofan is derived, is a plant also known as Trigonella foenum-graecum or Greek hay seed. It has been used for centuries as a flavor additive and herbal supplement. When used as an herbal supplement, its effects are more pronounced because the herb is more concentrated. Traditionally, Fenugreek has been taken orally to treat stomach upset and used topically to treat boils, eczema, and other skin conditions. Fenugreek should not be taken by diabetics or people with blood clotting disorders.
The herbal testosterone supplements are not the first testosterone supplements under legal attack; lawsuits have been filed across the country against manufacturers of topical testosterone supplements like AdroDerm, Axiron, and AndroGel. The lawsuits against the manufacturers of the topical so-called “low t supplements” have been accused of misleading the public into believing that normal signs of aging are a clinical condition that require treatment. They are also facing scrutiny from the FDA and consumer groups over the link between the hormone supplements and an increased risk of heart attack and strokes.
- New York Times, A Push to Sell Testosterone Drugs Troubles Doctors, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/us/a-push-to-sell-testosterone-gels-troubles-doctors.html?_r=0
- Bloomberg News, Abbott Labs Sued by Five Men Claiming Androgel Injuries, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-05/abbott-labs-sued-by-five-men-claiming-androgel-injuries.html
- Drugs.com, Fenugreek, http://www.drugs.com/mtm/fenugreek.html