Fish Oil Supplements Lawsuit 2024: Capsules of Controversy

by | Mar 4, 2024 | Product Liability | 0 comments

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Many people, especially older adults, take fish oil pills to stay healthy, believing they help prevent heart disease.

It’s not hard to see why – the labels on these pills often say they “keep your heart healthy” and “help control cholesterol and blood pressure.”

But there’s a problem brewing under the surface. Recent events have raised doubts about whether these promises are true and if these pills are as helpful as they claim to be.

This article will look into the issues surrounding fish oil supplements, exploring why some people are filing fish oil supplements lawsuits, questioning their effectiveness, and taking legal action to address concerns.

Fish Oil Supplements

Fish oil supplements are dietary supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential nutrients for the body. These supplements typically come in the form of softgel capsules or liquids extracted from the tissues of oily fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna, sardines, or anchovies.

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are known for their various health benefits, including supporting heart health, brain function, eye health, and reducing inflammation.

Fish oil supplements are commonly taken to supplement the diet and ensure adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids, especially for individuals who do not consume enough fatty fish in their regular diet.

Do fish oil supplements really work? When it comes to fish oil supplements, there’s little evidence to support their effectiveness. While it’s known that consuming omega-3 fatty acids from fish can lower the risk of heart problems, studies on OTC fish oil doses haven’t shown the same benefits.

Some studies suggest that a type of prescription fish oil containing pure EPA can reduce cardiovascular disease risk. However, other research found no significant reduction in heart attack, stroke, or death among high-risk patients taking fish oil.

Overall, while there may be some potential benefits to prescription fish oil for certain individuals, its use should be approached cautiously and prescribed less.

Fish Oil Supplements Lawsuit 2024

On February 9, 2024, a new class action lawsuit was filed by Anthony Fasce, representing himself and others in a similar situation against Nestlé Health Science U.S. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The case number is 7:24-cv-01009.

Nestlé Health Science U.S. is accused of misleading millions of consumers by exaggerating the benefits of its Nature’s Bounty fish oil supplements for cardiovascular health, according to the class action lawsuit.

The Nature’s Bounty supplement labels include explicit promises to enhance heart health, with “Heart Health” prominently displayed on the top of each bottle.

The complaint highlights that while many Americans take fish oil supplements believing they improve cardiovascular health, numerous randomized trials have shown no evidence of such benefits. Despite this, companies like Nature’s Bounty continue to market their fish oil supplements as beneficial for heart health.

The case argues that consumers are reasonably led to believe that taking fish oil pills will have cardiovascular health benefits when they see the product’s label, which occasionally includes additional claims that the supplement “Promotes Heart & Vascular Health,” “May Reduce Risk of Coronary Heart Disease,” and “Supports Heart & Immune Health.”

The fish supplements lawsuit claims “Nature’s Bounty’s labeling is false and misleading to most customers.”

Allegations against Nestlé Health Science include:

  • Violations of State Consumer Protection Acts
  • Violation of New York General Business Laws
  • Breach of Express Warranty
  • Breach of Implied Warranties
  • Violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
  • Quasi-Contract
  • Negligent Misrepresentation
  • Intentional Misrepresentation

The lawsuit claims that the defendant knowingly made false claims that Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil Supplements support heart health. They were aware, or should have been aware, through reasonable care, that these statements were misleading.

The plaintiff seeks several forms of relief, including:

  • Certification of the claims or issues raised as a class action.
  • A judgment in favor of the plaintiff and the proposed class.
  • Damages, including treble and punitive damages where applicable.
  • Restitution and rescission.
  • Disgorgement and other equitable relief.
  • Pre- and post-judgment interest.
  • An injunction to prevent the defendant’s deceptive conduct.
  • Reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
  • Any additional relief deemed reasonable and just by the court.

Additionally, the plaintiff demands the right to a jury trial on all claims that are triable by jury.

Fish Oil Supplements Lawsuit 2021

In September 2021, Nature’s Bounty and The Bountiful Co. faced a class action lawsuit alleging that the fish oil tablets they sold did not actually contain fish oil or any vital omega-3 fatty acids.

The lawsuit was filed by Mashon Baines against the Bountiful Company and its subsidiary Nature’s Bounty Inc. This action is taken on behalf of herself and others who are similarly situated. The lawsuit is regarding Nature’s Bounty 1400 mg Fish Oil supplement.

The fish supplements lawsuit alleges deceptive practices in the advertising, labeling, and sale of the product. Fish is known for its health benefits, including being a source of omega-3 fats, vitamin D, and selenium. However, many Americans do not consume enough fatty fish and instead rely on fish oil supplements.

By 2012, fish oil supplements had become the most commonly used non-vitamin, non-mineral dietary supplement in the U.S., and they remain popular today. The defendants claim that their product contains 1400 mg of fish oil, with specific amounts of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.

The plaintiffs allege that despite the product’s labeling claiming it contains fish oil, it actually does not contain any fish oil or these essential fatty acids. Instead, the fish oil has undergone a chemical process called trans-esterification, turning it into a synthesized product known as Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters (FAEE).

This process alters the molecular structure of the oil, making it different from natural fish oil. By mislabeling their product as fish oil, the defendants are accused of:

  • Violation of Breach of Express Warranty
  • Violation of New York General Business Laws
  • Unjust Enrichment

The lawsuit claims that thousands of consumers have been misled by the false labeling of the product.

The plaintiff seeks various forms of relief, including certification of the lawsuit as a class action, repayment of purchase costs or the defendant’s profits, compensation for harm caused, the imposition of statutory penalties, punitive damages if warranted, an order to stop false marketing and labeling, reimbursement of legal costs, and any other necessary relief deemed appropriate.

To wrap up,

Before adding fish oil supplements to your routine, it is crucial to understand that they may not be safe. Consulting with your doctor and pharmacist is essential to ensuring these supplements are safe and suitable for you.

If you have been affected by misleading claims against fish oil supplements, it’s time to act. Don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance. Contacting an attorney with experience in consumer protection and product liability can help you understand your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.

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MedLegal360 is a specialized author in medical-legal matters, providing clear, authoritative insights on healthcare legislation and personal injury litigation for professionals and the curious.

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