Update: This case was dismissed, but has already been re-filed. The PDF below shows the new complaint filed on November 26, 2016.It’s impossible to cleverly sugarcoat this one, so we’ll just cut to the chase: Jim Stoppani has been sued again.
In what’s becoming an unbearably litigious year for the PhD, a new class action lawsuit was filed on November 8, 2016 against Jim Stoppani’s company, PhD Fitness.
The class action complaint is over misleading statements, primarily focusing on Jim Stoppani’s claims regarding ingredient dosing (ie. that “Stoppani consistently claims that all of the ingredients in his products are scientifically supported and dosed properly, they are not”).
The suit was filed in the state of California, and alleges violations of Washington and Michigan consumer protection laws such as the Washington Consumer Protection Act (“WCPA”) and the Michigan Consumer Protection Act (“MCPA”). The re-filed case also has Michigan and South Carolina subclasses on top of the Nationwide class.
- The first major complaint is with regards to the dosing of Creatine HCl, in which
“Defendant includes 2 grams of Creatine HCL which they claim produces greater strength, endurance, and the promotion of muscle growth” … “This claim and dosage is based on the assumption that Creatine HCL produces the same results as Creatine Monohydrate at a much smaller dose (“micro-dosing”) because Creatine HCL is more water-soluble. There is absolutely no scientific backing that Creatine HCL produces greater strength, endurance, and muscle growth.”
- The second major complaint is similar, but with regards to beta alanine, and mentions that the studies cited by CarnoSyn (the brand of beta alanine used) were combined with creatine monohydrate and used 1.6 grams twice daily, which is higher than Pre-JYM’s dose.
- Third is betaine, which is dosed at 1.5g in Pre-JYM, but all studies referenced use 2.5g per day.
- Fourth is a complaint regarding N-acetyl L-cysteine, where Pre-JYM includes 600mg and claims that it “blunt[s] muscle fatigue and keep you training stronger, longer” yet alleges that this has never been shown at that dose.
- Fifth is with regards to Alpha-GPC dosing, where Pre-JYM contains 300mg, but the current only study showing Alpha GPC and strength increases is at 600mg.
- Sixth, the suit attacks the claims behind taurine, and alleges that there are no reliable scientific studies to support PhD Fitness’ claims.
- Seventh, the complaint attacks the claims made on Bioperine (black pepper extract), where Defendant claims “increases the absorption of those supplements by 30 to 2,000 percent” and while those claims may be true, the studies were done on other ingredients such as curcumin.
- Similar claims are made with regards to Post-JYM, attacking claims on glutamine
- The suit then quotes social media posts by Stoppani, where “Jim Stoppani himself on InstaGram admits that the Products contain Sodium even though they are not listed on the labels, as required by State and Federal Law”
The complaint also points out that the plaintiff has bought products from both GNC and Bodybuilding.com, but does not reference the Bodybuilding.com vs. GNC lawsuit, yet discusses the “exclusivity” issues and that the active ingredients are the same at both stores.
Seven Nine Counts Alleged
The following seven counts are cited, with several points of class-action legalese:
- Violation Of State Consumer Fraud Acts
- Breach Of Express Warranties
- Breach Of Implied Warranties
- Negligent Misrepresentation
- Intentional Misrepresentation
- Unjust Enrichment
- Violation Of The Michigan Consumer Protection Act Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 445.901
- Violation of The South Carolina Consumer Protection Code (S.C. Code Ann. § 37-1-103 et seq.)
- Violation of The Washington Consumer Protection Act (Wash. Rev. Code § 19.86.010 et seq.)
Note the lawyer: a familiar name in Nick Suciu
Interestingly, one of the attorneys for the plaintiff is none other than Nick Suciu, the industry attorney involved in many of the class-action lawsuits regarding amino acid spiking. He is quickly becoming the go-to lawyer for supplement industry class-action complaints.
We reached out to Nick for a comment on the record, but he has not yet left one.
Capping a tough year for Stoppani and PhD
For the time being, we’ll keep our commentary to a minimum.
It just feels like the entire situation, from the original Jim Stoppani Scandal to the Bodybuilding.com lawsuit against Stoppani to Bodybuilding’s $100+ million lawsuit against GNC and now to this… have all put this situation into state of surrealism, and we’re honestly speechless at this point.
One just has to wonder if this case would have been filed if Stoppani hadn’t been cutting down his competition on YouTube.
This article will stay updated as always.
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- Washington State Legislature, “Unfair Business Practices – Consumer Protection”; http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=19.86&full=true
- Cox, Mike (Attorney General); “Michigan Consumer Protection Act”; https://www.michigan.gov/documents/consumer_protection_act_54984_7.htm