Class Certification Denied in Energy Beverage Litigation
A federal court in California has denied a motion for class certification filed by a plaintiff who alleged that Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. misled consumers by claiming their energy drinks, marketed under the brand name Redline®, were safe and effective for enhancing energy and promoting weight loss. Aaronson v. Vital Pharms., Inc., No. 09-1333 (S.D. Cal., decided February 3, 2012). The plaintiff allegedly became shaky and his heart raced when he consumed the product, so he claimed that the company failed to adequately inform consumers about its risks.
According to the court, the plaintiff failed to establish typicality, adequacy of representation and predominance. As to typicality, he apparently admitted that he never read the product’s warning labels, thus subjecting him to “unique defenses that are not applicable to the class members who read the labels.” As to adequacy of representation, the court found, “The record confirms that Aaronson and/or his counsel have consistently failed to follow court orders, abide by court deadlines, and vigorously litigate the case.” The court also noted that some of his “moving papers venture off into a half-coherent and irrelevant discussion.” And common issues do not predominate, said the court, given that Aaronson alleged “a number of misrepresentations related to the drink’s safety, energy-boosting effects, and weight-loss benefits. As a result, different class members may have relied on different representations in purchasing the product.”