(CN) - A federal judge in San Diego allowed a consumer to sue Vital Pharmaceuticals for allegedly making bogus claims about the weight-loss and energy-boosting benefits of its Redline energy drinks and fraudulently concealing the dangers of some of its key ingredients.
Zack Aaronson launched a five-pronged attack on Vital Pharm, asserting two claims based on the drinks' alleged dangers and deceptive marketing, a claim for fraudulent concealment of the risks and two breach-of-warranty claims.
U.S. District Judge Thomas J. Whelan allowed all but the first two claims to survive, saying Aaronson presented enough evidence at this stage to proceed.
However, Whelan deferred to the Food and Drug Administration on the safety claims, saying the agency "has both the expertise and the authority to determine whether Redline is safe."
Aaronson had cited studies discussing the dangers of key ingredients in Redline, including yohimbine, vinpocetine, tyrosine and 5-hydroxtryptophan.
But Aaronson met the pleading requirements for his other claims, which were based on Vital Pharm's alleged fraudulent concealment of the health risks and its breach of warranty in selling a potentially dangerous product.
Because Vital Pharm "presents itself as a reputable, reliable and safe manufacturer of dietary supplements," Aaronson said, he relied on those representations when he bought and drank Redline.
Whelan dismissed the two safety claims without prejudice and allowed the remaining claims to proceed.
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