On February 25, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a putative class action against supplement maker The FRS Company and its former endorser, cyclist Lance Armstrong, in the case of Martin v. FRS Company, et al., Case No. CV-13-01456-BRO (MANx). The Plaintiffs, alleged purchasers of FRS products, claimed that Armstrong’s endorsement of FRS and certain FRS slogans like “Secret Weapon” misled consumers into believing that FRS products were “closely associated” with Armstrong’s “legendary” athletic achievements. Plaintiffs sued on behalf of a putative nationwide class and attempted to state claims for false advertising, unfair competition, violations of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and breach of warranty. In a 22-page ruling, the Court rejected each of Plaintiffs’ theories and dismissed the case.
As to the false advertising, unfair competition and CLRA claims, the Court ruled that FRS’s slogans amounted to nothing more than non-actionable “puffery,” and that the claims did not meet the heightened pleading standards of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b), which applied because each claim sounded in alleged fraud.
Continue Reading Former Lance Armstrong Endorsement of Supplement Company FRS Doesn’t Support False Advertising Class Action, Court Rules