Central District Grants Final Approval to Injunctive Relief Settlement in Qunol CoQ10 Liquid Labeling Litigation
On March 13, 2013, Judge David O. Carter granted final approval to a class action based on claims that Defendants mislabeled their “Qunol” product as “six times more effective” than other similar products. Bruno v. Quten Research Institute, LLC, et al. (In re Qunol CoQ10 Liquid Labeling Litigation), No. SACV 11–00173 DOC (Ex), 2013 WL 990495 (C.D. Cal. March 13, 2013) (slip op.).
All excluding officers, directors, and employees of Quten Research Institute, LLC or Tishcon Corp. and their immediate families, who on or after January 31, 2007 purchased Qunol CoQ10 in the United States for personal or household uses, rather than resale or distribution, in packaging stating that Qunol offers six times better absorption or effectiveness.
Injunctive relief: The Settlement requires Defendants to refrain from labeling or advertising Qunol as six times more effective or providing six times more absorption than competing products or “regular CoQ10” for a ten-year period, unless they have new competent and reliable scientific evidence that supports the claim. Defendants also must request that all licensed or direct shipment online or catalog Qunol vendors remove or otherwise cease using marketing materials making such claims.
Monetary Relief: Defendants will pay all class members who file a claim, which may be done online, by mail, or by fax. Class Members may obtain $3.55 per Qunol bottle purchased. Claims are limited to $10.65 (e.g., 3 bottles) without proof of purchase, while there is no cap on claims with a proof of purchase, for example a receipt or product packaging.
Attorneys’ Fees, Expenses, and Incentive Awards
This was not a common fund case, so the Court applied the lodestar method. The lodestar totaled over $1 million, but the settlement terms limited fees and costs to $410,000, which the court granted. The court granted an incentive award of $8,000.
District Judge David O. Carter
Alexis Marie Wood, Beatrice Skye Resendes, Ronald A. Marron, Law Offices of Ronald A. Marron, APLC, Courtland W. Creekmore, Gregory S. Weston, John Joseph Fitzgerald, IV, Melanie Rae Persinger, The Weston Firm, San Diego, CA, for Plaintiff.
Evan S. Strassberg, Vantus Law Group, PC, Jason M. Kerr, Salt Lake City, UT, Helen Chae MacLeod, Newport Beach, David K. Caplan, Anthony M. Keats, Beverly Hills, CA, Peter D. Aufrichtig, Zahir Virani, White Plains, NY, for Defendants.