Case no scientifically valid investigations demonstrate that the

Case Analysis Week 3

Parties:   Plaintiff: RONDA KAUFMAN,

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                Defendant:
CVS CAREMARK CORPORATION; CVS PHARMACY, INC.,

Facts:
     CVS has a Vitamin E supplement with a name that
touts the item as supporting “heart health.” when the plaintiff
purchased from CVS she alleges that CVS’s name misleads customers on the
grounds that no scientifically valid investigations demonstrate that the name’s
“heart health” explanations being truthful and not deceptive Finding
that federal law does not preempt Kaufman’s effort to maintain this action
under New York’s consumer protection law, we reverse the district court’s order
dismissing Kaufman’s complaint.  

Procedure: Kaufman
filed a putative class action complaint that advances two counts at issue on
appeal: violation of the New York Consumer Protection Act, N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law §
349 (“NYCPA section 349”), which makes unlawful “deceptive
acts or practices in the conduct of any business, trade or commerce or in the
furnishing of any service” in New York, id. § 349(a), and a piggy-back
common law claim of unjust enrichment. The
district court dismissed this lawsuit on a motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim but then finding that federal law does not preempt Kaufman’s
effort to maintain this action under New York’s consumer protection law, United
States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed the district court’s
order dismissing Kaufman’s complaint.

Issues:
    The district
court judge ruled in favor of CVS’s by dismissing the lawsuit as a result of
failure to state a claim then the couth of appeal reversed the district court decision
as it violated the consumer protection act. The dilemma here was whether the
reported scientific studies which  show
that vitamin E offers no cardiovascular benefits is true or the studies Kaufman
relied on substantiated its health claims, and that the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act prevented her from suing
under New York law.

Explain the applicable law(s):   The New York City Consumer Protection Law forbids all
“deceptive or unconscionable trade practices in the sale, lease, rental,
or loan, or in the offering for sale, lease, rental, or loan of any consumer
goods and services, or in the collection of consumer debts.” Under the
Consumer Protection Law (commonly referred to as CPL), the Department of
Consumer Affairs has authority to adopt rules prohibiting practices it defines
as deceptive or unconscionable.     

 

Holding:
 The court of appeal reversed
the district court decision and plaintiff Ronda Kaufman can pursue a proposed
class action against CVS as it violated New York consumer protection law.

 

Reasoning:  CVS lacks proof that the “heart health” and
“supports heart health” statements are truthful and not misleading
descriptions of the function of Vitamin E supplements in humans. For purposes
of Rule 12(b)(6), and also Kaufman has adequately pled that CVS’s labeling of
its Vitamin E supplement is not in keeping with the requirements of FDCA
section 343(r), and that federal law does not, therefore, preempt application
of New York state law for the purpose of holding CVS accountable for misleading
consumers by failing to satisfy those requirements. With CVS advancing no argument
that unsubstantiated and deceptive health claims made in marketing a consumer
product are not actionable under New York law. The united states couth of
Appeals made this decision to reverse district court decision of dismissing
Kaufmann complaint.

 

Recommendation: The court of appeal ruling made more sense
since CVS was placing a misleading statement that actually was not genuine so
in this scenario it was violating the New York consumer protection act and
normally consumers, in general, buy what they read especially when buying
medications so this decision was justified also as a result of this decision,
pharmacy companies would not use this kind of trick to deceive their customers.