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A request has been filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate and centralize all Testofen lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system, which allege that the makers of the herbal supplements falsely claimed that the product is a testosterone booster.
Testofen is an extract created from fenugreek seeds, which the manufacturers allegedly claimed will increase a male’s testosterone levels. It is often used in supplements that claim they can increase muscle mass and boost male libido, as well as in supplements claiming to improve erectile dysfunction.
In recent months, several class action lawsuits have been filed over Testofen, claiming that the manufacturers have misrepresented that the products safely boost testosterone levels.
On January 7, a motion to consolidate (PDF) was filed with the U.S. JPML, seeking to transfer all cases to one judge as part of a Testofen MDL to eliminate contradictory pretrial rulings, avoid duplicative discovery and to serve the convenience of all parties, witnesses and the courts. The motion calls for all of the complaints to be centralized in the Northern District of California.
Gencor Nutrients manufactures Testofen, and the company has indicated that it stands by its product.
The first Testofen class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in May 2014, alleging that the active ingredient in these products has been shown in several studies not to increase testosterone levels. However, there are more than 20 products on the market claiming it has been clinically proven to do so.
Last month, two new Testofen class action lawsuits were filed; one complaint (PDF) in federal court in Massachusetts by Daniel Camey and Raymond Alvandi on December 23, naming Force Factor, LLC as a defendant; and another complaint (PDF) was filed on December 31, by 11 plaintiffs against a number of manufacturers, including Gencor, General Nutrition Centers (GNC), Force Factor, Dreambrands, Truderma, and several other manufacturers. General Nutrition Centers (GNC) is the exclusive seller of 19 different Testofen products, according to the plaintiffs.
“All of the claims asserted….proceed from the same factual premise: that the representation that Testofen has been clinically proven to increase free testosterone levels is false,” the motion to consolidate states. “The complaint identifies the specific misrepresentations made by each of the defendants concerning the products at issue, contained on the product labeling, packaging, the manufacturers’ websites, and GNC’s websites.”
Testosterone Health Concerns
The Testofen lawsuits come as the testosterone drug industry faces its own growing litigation over claims that prescription testosterone boosters may increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular problems.
Over the past year, hundreds of Androgel lawsuits, Axiron lawsuits, Testim lawsuits and other low testosterone drug lawsuits have been filed on behalf of former users of these prescription medications.
In June 2014, the U.S. JPML decided to centralize cases filed throughout the federal court system as part of one testosterone MDL, which has been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
As part of the coordinated pretrial proceedings, Judge Kennelly has ordered that a small group of Androgel lawsuits be prepared for early trial dates in late 2016 and early 2017. Known as “bellwether” cases, the trials are designed to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation.
Over the coming months and years, as low testosterone injury lawyers continue to review and file potential claims for men who suffered a heart attack, stroke, blood clot or other injury while using the popular medications, the number of lawsuits pending in the MDL is expected to continue to increase, with most estimates suggesting that there will eventually be several thousand cases consolidated before Judge Kennelly.
While the outcome of any early bellwether trials will not be binding on other claims, the process is designed to help parties evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their cases, potentially resulting in low testosterone settlements that will avoid the need for individual trials to be scheduled nationwide.