WILMINGTON, Del. (CN) - Organo Gold coffee contains a mushroom with dangerous blood-thinning properties unknown to consumers, a class claims in court.
Lead plaintiff Marlin Johnson says he consumed one cup of Organo Gold coffee a day for two weeks in March 2013, "unaware of the product's dangerous side effects."
Though enticed by Organo's "representation of the purported health benefits derived from Ganoderma Lucidum," Johnson says he has since learned that "Ganoderma Lucidum is a natural blood thinner that prevents a person's blood from clotting properly and causes intestinal bleeding and platelet dysfunction."
"The packaging and/or labeling of Organo Gold products do not contain warnings about these dangerous side effects," according to the March 19 complaint Johnson filed in New Castle County Superior Court.
Also known as Reishi, Johnson says Ganoderma Lucidum "is a bitter hard mushroom commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine."
Organo Gold's website describes the mushroom in magical terms: "Once upon a time there was a fungus - an incredible mushroom known as Ganoderma lucidum. Ganoderma are a fantastic-looking mushroom, resembling something supernatural, or straight out of a fairy tale such as Alice in Wonderland."
Johnson says the product's dangerous side effects became known to him after he underwent gastric bypass surgery in April 2013 and soon began "vomiting blood and suffering from blood clots."
When Johnson's hemoglobin level dropped dangerously low, doctors allegedly discovered that his consumption of Organo Gold coffee was to blame.
"As a result, plaintiff had to be resuscitated with multiple blood and platelet transfusions and undergo an emergency surgery," the complaint states.
Johnson slams Organo for its failure to include on the coffee box's "packaging and/or labeling ... information about how much Ganoderma Lucidum is in the product."
For "those with health conditions, or those undergoing surgical procedures, the blood thinning properties and amount of Ganoderma Lucidum in Organo Gold products is extremely important," he says.
Other Organo Gold products that tout Ganoderma mushrooms include a green tea, plus OG Smile Toothpaste and G3 Premium Beauty Soap.
A resident of Florida, Johnson says an Organo Gold representative sold him three boxes of coffee in Delaware. The company and its affiliates operate out of Nevada and Washington state, according to the complaint.
Philip Edwards of Murphy & Landon in Wilmington represents the class, which seeks punitive damages for breach of warranty, fraud, negligence and other claims.
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