A California federal judge has denied a bid by Nutra Manufacturing LLC and International Vitamin Crop. to escape a suit alleging their joint health supplements don’t contain a key ingredient, saying another pending suit about the same pills doesn’t preempt this case.

Nutra and IVC argue that Rigo Amavizca’s claim’s against them concern the same glucosamine sulfate pills as his pending suit against GNC Holdings Inc., pointing to a “first to file” rule that exists to avoid conflicting judgements and undue burden on the judiciary system. However, those concerns aren’t implicated by Judge R. Gary Klausner because he said he is hearing both cases.

The judge rejected the companies’ argument that the suit is preempted by federal law, saying Amavizca needn’t have gone through the same rigorous testing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires to support his claim, and that the allegations the product does not contain its main ingredient are enough at this stage to claim the label was deceptive.

Finally, the Judge let Amavizca’s claim for punitive damages stand, saying his allegations that the companies rigorously test the products and that the pills don’t contain glucosamine sulfate are enough at this stage to allege they knowingly violated the law.

Representatives for the companies could not be reached for immediate comment.

 

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