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Schiff Glucosamine $50 Million Class Deal Gets Final Nod (1)

Oct. 28, 2021, 7:25 PMUpdated: Oct. 29, 2021, 8:11 PM

A $50 million class settlement in a Reckitt Benckiser LLC joint-health product suit, the largest all-cash deal in a diet supplement false advertising action, got a California federal court’s final approval Thursday.

Gordon Noboru Yamagata and others alleged Reckitt Benckiser falsely touted its Schiff Move Free Advanced glucosamine supplements by claiming the products offer benefits that they don’t provide.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California certified a class in 2019.

Reckitt Benckiser agreed to pay $50 million into a fund to cover claims, attorneys’ fees, service awards, and costs.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys were awarded their requested $12.5 million in fees and $658,000 for reimbursement of litigation costs.

The settlement covers all people in the U.S. who bought Move Free Advanced supplements, not solely for resale, from May 28, 2015, to June 24, 2021.

Those without proof of purchase were initially eligible for $22 for up to three purchases, for a total of $66. Those with proof of purchase could make as many claims as they could substantiate. The initial amounts represented a full refund, and were expected to increase because no money will revert to the company, the plaintiffs said.

As initially proposed, the deal included an alternative option under which class members could choose to receive products and the company would cover shipping costs. However, the final deal is an all-cash settlement.

The claims deadline is Nov. 8.

Judge Vince Chhabria also approved service payments of $7,500 to three named plaintiffs, and $500 to six others.

The Orthopaedic Research Society is the designated cy pres recipient of any money left as a result of uncashed checks.

Blood Hurst & O’Reardon LLP and others represented the plaintiffs. Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP and Perkins Coie LLP represented Reckitt Benckiser.

The case is Yamagata v. Reckitt Benckiser, LLC, N.D. Cal., No. 3:17-cv-03529, 10/28/21.

(Updated with detail on claims deadline in ninth paragraph. An earlier version of this Oct. 28 story was corrected to reflect that the final settlement was a $50 million all-cash deal.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Steinberg in Washington at jsteinberg@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Patrick L. Gregory at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com

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