SAN DIEGO (CN) - Two Florida companies are "preying" on sleepy consumers by selling them pricey "Dream Water" - at $20 a six-pack - but it's just snake oil, a San Diegan says in a class action in Superior Court.
Joe Ferris says Dream Products and Sarpes Beverages push their Dream Water as a "miraculous" product that "works for anyone who needs to relax, fall asleep or stay asleep."
"Dream Water, according to defendant, has no side effects and provides its amazing sleep benefits without making users feel groggy or drowsy the next day like other over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids. Although defendant uses images and language to represent that these claims about its products have been clinically proven and endorsed by medical organizations and professionals, the reality is that defendant has no such support for its baseless representations. Defendant simply is and has been misrepresenting the effectiveness of its products to the general public, in order to reap windfall profits," according to the complaint.
Ferris says the defendants push their product with "misleading testimonials," among other things, in airports, over the Internet and in "popular national retail chains including Walgreens and K-Mart. Dream Water is sold in a variety of 'flavors' in both 8 ounce 23 bottles and in 2.5 ounce 'sleep shots'. A six pack of either the 8 ounce bottles or the 2.5 ounce 24 'sleep shots' retails for approximately $20.00."
Ferris says the defendants claim the stuff works through three "natural" ingredients: GABA, melatonin and 5-htp. He says he bought Dream Water based on the defendants' "deceptive Dream Water promises ... lost money as a result" and "experienced none of Dream Water's advertised benefits."
Ferris says the defendants claim, falsely, that their water works better than FDA-approved sleep aids, and push the product as a "safe and effective cure for sleep disorders."
But "In reality, defendant has no support whatsoever for these claims. It has conducted no studies examining the safety or effectiveness of its 'proprietary' combination of the effective ingredients in the Dream Water products let alone the products themselves. Defendant is simply selling snake-oil as a purported cure for one of the most important health problems faced by millions of Americans," the complaint states.
"Defendant claims that Dream Water is 'all-natural' and that it is 'safe as a warm glass of milk.' But Dream Water includes and promotes the use of melatonin. Medical professionals note that melatonin has 'inconsistent' effects as a sleep aid, that '[t]here are many unanswered questions about melatonin' and that melatonin may lead to daytime drowsiness, headaches, dizziness, stomach discomfort, short-lasting depression symptoms, mild tremor, mild anxiety, irritability, and confusion. Melatonin may interact negatively with a variety of common drugs, including blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants), immunosuppressants, diabetes medications, and birth control pills. People who are pregnant, breast-feeding, and younger than age 20 must be especially careful when taking melatonin. Risks of taking melatonin are thought to increase over time. Upon information and belief, melatonin was recently banned for over-the-counter use in Canada, and has been banned for over the counter use in many European countries for some time. Defendant does not disclose any of melatonin's potential negative effects or implications."
Ferris seeks class damages of less than $5 million for violations of consumer and business law, unfair competition, false advertising, and breach of warranty.
He is represented by Derrick Coleman with Coleman Frost of Encino.
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