Canadian Company Sued for Defrauding Thousands of U.S. Consumers of Dietary Supplements



    BOSTON, Sept. 16 /CNW/ -- Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.
announced today that consumers in sixteen states have filed lawsuits against
Canadian company Wellnx Life Sciences, which markets and sells three dietary
supplements throughout the United States, and against its owners and senior
managers, Derek Woodgate, Brad Woodgate and Scott Welch.  The cases, which
were pending in federal courts and consolidated in U.S. District Court in
Boston, accuse Wellnx and its owners of deceiving consumers with false claims
about what was in its products and their ability to cause "rapid weight loss."
    The suit claims that Wellnx, based in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto,
Ontario, marketed and sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of
"Slimquick," "NV," and "Liquid Hoodia," to thousands of unsuspecting women
lured into believing the products would help them lose weight.  The supposed
key ingredients in the herbal remedies are green tea and Hoodia Gordonii,
which Wellnx claimed would induce rapid weight loss.  The suit alleges that
Wellnx's weight-loss claims are false and are not supported by science.
    "Thousands of American women have put their faith in these supposed cures
for obesity," said David Barry of Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. in
Boston, one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs.  "Our clients were
misled and cheated out of millions of dollars when Wellnx lied about what was
in its products and what they would do to help them lose weight.  We are going
to see that these consumers are justly compensated and that Wellnx stops
making dishonest claims regarding these dietary supplements."
    Barry and three other lawyers in the suit argue that many of the
supplements sold by Wellnx contain little or none of the ingredients that were
represented to promote rapid weight loss.  The plaintiffs say they took random
samples of "Slimquick," "NV," and "Liquid Hoodia" from various stores around
the country to an independent testing lab and found that some samples
contained none of the purported weight-loss ingredients claimed and that other
samples had just trace quantities, too low to have any effect on weight loss.
    The substances are widely advertised in women's magazines and other
media, and make bold claims of being the "Women's Weight Loss" remedy. 
However, several clinical studies of the key ingredient in Slimquick and NV,
green tea extract, concluded that ingestion of green tea, especially in small
amounts, does not cause significant weight loss.
    The marketing of the products included widespread use of
"transformations" depicting the before and after appearance of allegedly
independent consumers who were "skeptical" of the weight loss promises of the
products but claimed huge weight loss in a short period -- as many as 36-45
pounds in two months of taking the product.  Plaintiffs claim these
"transformations" did not occur with the use of the Wellnx products over that
time.  In some instances, the wives or girlfriends of the senior managers at
Wellnx played the role of the skeptical, independent consumer but these
relationships were not disclosed to consumers.  The suit also claims that in
some cases these "consumers" did not use the products at all.
    "Thousands of consumers just lost money when they wanted to lose weight,"
Barry said.  "It's time for Wellnx not only to compensate those consumers, but
to halt its deceptive practices for the good of the public as a whole."

    
    The case is MDL NO. 07-md-1861 (RGS) ALL CASES
    In Re: Wellnx Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation
    

    
    http://www.srbc.com
    Link to David A. Barry profile:
    http://www.srbc.com/SRBCTeam/AttorneyBios.asp?id=16

    




For further information:

For further information: David A. Barry of Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak &
Cohen, P.C., +1-617-227-3030, barry@srbc.com; Web Site: http://www.srbc.com,
http://www.srbc.com/SRBCTeam/AttorneyBios.asp?id=16

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