Florida Court holds putative class action unmanageable and denies certification


In Karhu v. Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,[1] the plaintiff sought certification of a nationwide class action against a marketer and manufacturer of a dietary supplement that advertised that its product would “burn fat” and help achieve rapid fat loss. The court found the plaintiff satisfied Rule 23(a); however, it found that the proposed class action did not satisfy Rule 23(b)(3) because the class was unmanageable. First, the plaintiff failed to present any practical method of verifying membership in the class – there was no central record of purchasers and customers were unlikely to retain proof of purchase. Second, the claims of the nationwide class action implicated laws of multiple states which required different proof of each claim depending on the location of the class member. Because of this, the trial would be unwieldy and these individual issues would overshadow common factual questions.

[1] No. 13-60768-CIV, 2014 WL 815253 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 3, 2014).

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